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Title: The role of the secondary school in student wellbeing
Author: Lane, Nicola
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
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Adolescence is a developmental stage characterised by intense emotional reactivity and formation of identity and can be a challenging time. Young people spend almost as much of their waking life at school as they do at home, therefore education establishments can have an important impact on adolescents' development. This is recognised by the education system and using the school to address adolescents' psychological wellbeing is an established goal for educational institutions. There is a substantive body of research exploring how schools aid students' wellbeing. However there is limited information exploring how schools support and aid young people's wellbeing post bereavement. The first paper presents a systematic review of current universal school-based mental health promotion interventions designed to improve student wellbeing. Methodological limitations are discussed. The review concludes that current research is not providing strong evidence to suggest there are significant long-term benefits of such interventions. Implications for future research are suggested including increasing understanding of how teachers informally manage the emotional needs of students which may be a useful way of working to improve adolescents' mental health in schools. Between 4 - 7% of young people experience the death of a parent by the age of sixteen. The second paper therefore focuses on student wellbeing post bereavement. An empirical study exploring teachers' experiences of supporting students after a parental bereavement is presented. A grounded theory project was undertaken and twelve teachers were interviewed. Participants identified experiencing a range of responses to working with bereaved students, these responses fall within six central processes - Flexibility, Openness, Support, Emotionality, Sharing, and Communication. These processes are conceptualised as continuums to capture the range and fluidity of responses. Teachers' narratives revealed that they were influenced by various contextual factors including systemic, individual and student factors. Teachers described their responses as being fluid, ongoing throughout the bereaved student's school career and unique to each student. A model is presented to illustrate the relationships between influential factors and the six central processes leading to each teacher's unique response.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available