School, learning and mental health : a systematic review of aspects of school climate affecting mental health and positive academic outcomes

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Gymnastik- och idrottshögskolan, GIH/Institutionen för idrotts- och hälsovetenskap

Författare: Karin Bertills; [2010]

Nyckelord: school; leaning; mental health; systematic review;



This study of a systematic review of systematic reviews on school, learning and mental health investigates the relation between school climate, mental health and positive school outcomes. The aim is to analyze the quality and content of previous reviews and to identify aspects in the school climate that positively affect learning and mental health. Research questions are: What is the quality and content of previous systematic reviews on school, learning and mental health? What is the current state of knowledge concerning causal relationships between school climate, learning and mental health according to systematic reviews? What factors in the school climate can be identified as vital for positive outcomes and good mental health?


Systematic review of longitudinal or cross-sectional studies. 792 references were identified through literature searches in various databases, with search words considering mental health in combination with search words considering school and learning. Data extraction was performed in three steps; abstract, full text and in-depth data extraction. Criteria for inclusion were: systematic review, published 1999-2009, ages 2-19 years, published in English in peer reviewed journals. The number of reviews that met the criteria set for quality was 37, which were quality rated as of high 27% (10/37), medium 46% (17/37) or low quality 27% (10/37).


Three categories of content emerge, where much research has been executed: the relation between positive aspects of mental health and learning, between mental health problems and learning and indirect relations between school factors and mental health and learning. The quality is relatively low, only 8% (3/37) meet all the quality criteria. At school level, where the teacher plays an important role, there is a positive relation between school climate and outcome and mental health, as well as on an individual level, where self-efficacy, i.e. will and skill to perform, can be identified as a factor of major importance to school outcome.


Due to the low quality of research on the relation between school, learning and mental health causal relation cannot be established. There are apparent connections between school outcome, self-efficacy and a positive school climate. Teachers are important in and for school climate and are of vital importance for outcome and mental health. Students’ possibility to influence and control their learning promote school outcome and mental health. Policy aimed at improving achievement and school outcome need to consider perceived self-efficacy.

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