A recent study published in PLOS ONE examined how classroom environment shapes the emotions and behaviors of students. Using a sample of Chinese students, Wang and colleagues examined the association between classroom environment and emotional and behavioral problems across different school stages, while also considering the influences of students’ personality and family environment.
In two primary schools and four secondary schools in Liaoning Province, northeast China, the study collected valid responses from 5,433 students (2,039 from primary schools; 2,091 from junior high schools; 1,303 from senior high schools) and 244 classroom teachers (92 from primary schools; 96 from junior high schools; 56 from senior high schools). The students were asked about their emotional and behavioral problems, personality, family environment, perceptions of teacher-student interaction through a questionnaire; and the teachers reported their depressive symptoms. The authors found that:
- The greatest influences on students’ emotions and behaviors were personality and family characteristics at the individual level, but the influence of classroom teachers on students gradually increased across different school stages.
- In primary schools and among a high dissatisfaction group in junior high school, students’ positive perception of teachers’ understanding was negatively associated with their emotional and behavioral problems.
- In senior high schools, students’ perception of teachers as “helpful / friendly” was negatively associated with their emotional and behavioral problems.
The authors suggested that the results highlighted the importance of teachers’ positive communication with students. The findings also highlighted the diverse classroom needs of younger and older adolescents in order to improve students’ mental health.
Source (Open Access): Wang, J., Hu, S., & Wang, L. (2018). Multilevel analysis of personality, family, and classroom influences on emotional and behavioral problems among Chinese adolescent students. PLOS ONE, 13(8), e0201442. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0201442.