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Title: The effects of schooling and education policy on the subjective well-being of children : a comparative study
Author: Clair, Amy
ISNI:       0000 0004 5363 7099
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2014
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There has been increasing interest in subjective well-being, including child subjective well-being, in recent years. However there has been comparatively little work considering the impact of school and education policies on children’s subjective well-being, despite the important roles these areas play in children’s lives. This thesis aims to reduce this gap in the literature by investigating the relationship between schools and children’s subjective well-being through the quantitative analysis of a range of secondary datasets from England and the USA. The thesis first presents analysis demonstrating a generally positive relationship between subjective well-being and school performance reiterating evidence from elsewhere that subjective well-being is important to objective outcomes. The remainder of the thesis presents analyses investigating the extent and nature of the influence of the school a child attends on their overall subjective well-being. It is the results of these analyses that provide the original contribution to literature of this thesis. This analysis both quantifies the amount of variance in subjective well-being explained by the school a child is attending and demonstrates which areas of children’s lives are influenced by schools. It finds that schools play an important social and supportive role in children’s lives, explaining considerable proportions of the variance in subjective well-being. The comparison between England and the US in this regard demonstrates that schools play an important role in children’s lives in both nations, but in different forms. Results for England emphasise a more emotional and supportive role for schools, while in the US the social role of school appears more critical for children’s subjective well-being. The results of this thesis therefore support calls for a change in approach to education policy in England and the US from an almost exclusive focus on attainment towards a more holistic approach, considering the impact of schools on the whole child, as well as highlighting schools as an important area of research for those concerned with children’s well-being.
Supervisor: Kiernan, Kathleen Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available