Stress and Well-being in Primary School Children
S. Schmid1, I. Schwarz1, N. Wasserfall1, H. Eschenbeck2, C.-W. Kohlmann1
1University of Education, Schwäbisch Gmünd
2University of Education, Weingarten
Background: A parent-teacher consultation was introduced to empower parents to decide what kind of secondary school their children should go to. Effects of the shift from an obligatory secondary school recommendation to a parent-teacher consultation on children’s stress levels and well-being were examined. Method: Within 7 schools a first group of primary school children with an obligatory school recommendation (Group I, grade 4, assessed in 2011, n=120; age: M=9.7 ys.) as well as a second group with a parent-teacher consultation (Group II, grade 4, assessed in 2012, n=164; age: M=9.5 ys.) were examined. Stress and well-being were assessed using a self-report. Children’s well-being was assessed by parents’ reports as well. Findings: Stress varied as a function of a school by group interaction; F(6,223)=2.86, p<.05, showing a positive effect of paradigm shift only for children attending certain schools. In addition, only girls showed a benefit in self- and parent-reported well-being from the annulment of the obligatory school recommendation; F(1,220)=4.83, p<.05. Discussion: Findings are discussed with regard to gender-specific social consequences of the new arrangement.