Secondary school pupils' well-being in the schoolenvironment: the development of an measurement instrument. (OBPWO-1998)

Project Details


The main objective of this research project, an assignment of the Ministry's education department, was to develop a valid and reliable instrument for the inspectorate, that would allow them to measure the degree of students' well-being in secondary schools.
The research questions were:
1) which aspects of school- and class life do pupils themselves perceive as relevant for their well-being;
2) which are valid indicators to measure the degree of well-being related to these different aspects;
3) which correlations can be found between different aspects of well-being in the school- and class environment and general well-being;
4) which features of a school favor a positive perception of school?
A screening of research findings and existing instruments resulted in an inventory of indicators and aspects of the school- and classroom environment which could possibly influence pupils' well-being. In an exploratory phase panel discussions with 57 panels of 6 pupils were organized in order to explore the issue from the youngsters' own perspectives and experiences. Panels were male and female students from different levels and kinds of S.Ed.,from different schoolnetworks, large and small schools, urban and rural areas. The semi-structured interviews gave us an overview of the aspects in the school- and claassenvironment pupils themselves perceived as important for their well-being. The materials from the panel discussions was used for the construction of items for a pilot version of the questionnaire.
Satisfaction (cognitive - judgment), feelings (affective perception) and behaviour (as a result of coping) were choosen as indicators.
Panels of experts were consulted about validity of the content of the pilot version. The pilot version was then tested with more than 300 students. With the necessary adjustments the instrument was administered to a sample of 2054 students.
The questionnaire prooved to be very reliable(internal consistency - test-retest). The following scales and subscales could be distinguished:
1. Class and school
1.1. participation in the classroom
1.2. contacts with teachers
1.3. the learning process
1.4. infrastructure / accommodation
1.5. action plans
1.6. school climate
1.7. rules
1.8. participation in school policy
1.9. contacts with other staff
1.10. counselling (personnal and other student problems)
2. workload and curricula
2.1. workload
2.2. curricula, contents
2.3. assessment
3. students' behaviour
4. contacts with peers

The degree of well being in secondary school students in Flanders was average. However, it appeared that there were significant differences between schools.
With the instrument and standard forms for data interpretation, schools can plot their scores on a diagram representing the profile of students well being in Flanders. It allows them to compare students' well being in their schools to the general results in Flanders and to identify domains in which action is required.
Effective start/end date1/10/983/10/00


  • education

Flemish discipline codes

  • Media and communications
  • Economics and business