Researchers from Queen’s University in Belfast have explored the relationship between well-being and academic achievement scores among primary school children, and found it to be statistically significant. These findings were based on data on academic achievement and a range of well-being indicators gathered through a cross-sectional survey of 1,081 students aged 7-11 in Northern Ireland. The team used six of the most common measures of well-being, covering psychological factors, school engagement factors, and family and peer relationship factors.
The authors found that
- The positive relationship between well-being and achievement was the same for all children, regardless of their gender or socio-economic background.
- For Year 7 students who have high levels of wellbeing (a standard deviation above the sample mean), the predicted probability of achieving the expected national standard in English and Mathematics was 9.4 percentage point higher than those of low levels of wellbeing (a standard deviation below the sample mean).
- Neither gender nor deprivation could significantly predict well-being.
Therefore, they suggest that efforts to improve achievement that focus on well-being should not be targeted specifically to children in economically deprived areas or be modified in terms of gender. Instead, a more universal approach to promoting well-being across the population would be appropriate in order to improve educational achievement.
Source :Miller, S., Connolly, P., & Maguire, L. K. (2013). Wellbeing, academic buoyancy and educational achievement in primary school students. International Journal of Educational Research, 62, 239–248.