An Exploration of Young People’s Perceptions of what Contributes to Positive Wellbeing within Education

Riley, Hollie (2021) An Exploration of Young People’s Perceptions of what Contributes to Positive Wellbeing within Education. DAppEdPsy thesis, University of Nottingham.

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An increasing focus is being placed on the wellbeing and mental health of children and young people (CYP) in education, through government policy, initiatives and guidance (Department of Health (DoH) & Department for Education (DfE), 2017; DfE and DoH, 2015; Children and Families Act, 2014), with the UK Government regularly measuring indices of CYP’s wellbeing (Office for National Statistics, 2018). Despite an increasing focus being placed on wellbeing and its importance, many CYP continue to report not being happy with their lives (DfE, 2019a).

The current study aimed to contribute to the growing body of research surrounding the wellbeing of young people by exploring what pupils perceive contributes to positive wellbeing in education. Through capturing the voice of young people, it is hoped research can further illuminate ways in which educational professionals and settings can enhance pupil wellbeing. Semi-structured interviews (SSIs) were conducted with seven young people aged 15-16 years and data was analysed using Thematic Analysis (TA). Findings highlight the pivotal role of educational settings in promoting and supporting pupil wellbeing. Interpersonal relationships with peers and educational staff, academic demands, self-imposed and externally located pressures and expectations, influences external to school, and opportunities and provision within school were found to be influential to the wellbeing of young people in education. School was perceived as a place of social opportunity, where feelings of belonging are nurtured, and pupil self-efficacy and self-esteem augmented. The role of educational settings in supporting the development of the whole child is emphasised.

The study has implications for current practice in supporting and fostering the wellbeing of pupils in education. This includes the continued increase in both awareness and support in school, opportunities for educational staff to develop their skills and knowledge in supporting pupil wellbeing and mental health, equipping young people with the skills to develop and fulfil their potential, increasing a sense of social belonging, school connectedness and nurturing social opportunities with teachers and peers. Opportunities for further research are also considered.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (DAppEdPsy)
Supervisors: Gulliford, Anthea
Keywords: mental health, mental health provision, psychological wellbeing, positive wellbeing
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1050 Educational psychology
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Science > School of Psychology
Item ID: 67066
Depositing User: Riley, Hollie
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2023 15:43
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2023 15:43

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