Positive links between student participation, recognition and wellbeing at school

Donnah L. Anderson, Anne P. Graham, Catharine Simmons, Nigel Patrick Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Recent years have seen increased attention paid to both student participation and wellbeing at school. Little research to date has investigated the extent to which participation is associated with wellbeing, let alone which specific elements of participation may predict wellbeing. This paper reports the quantitative phase of a mixed-methods study investigating these associations. Students (N = 1,435) from Government and Catholic high schools in New South Wales, Australia, completed an online survey. Hierarchical regression analyses showed that having a say with influential people, having choice, having influence, and working together significantly and positively predicted wellbeing. Simply having ‘voice’ did not significantly predict wellbeing. Mediation analyses showed that student participation fostered recognition – giving and receiving
care, respect and valuing others – which in turn fostered wellbeing. The results suggest schools endeavouring to strengthen student wellbeing would benefit from identifying whether and how participation initiatives create the conditions for recognition to occur.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101896
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Research
Early online date17 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


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