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Social relations in school and psychosomatic health among Swedish adolescents: the role of academic orientation
Karlstad University, Faculty of Social and Life Sciences, Centre for Research on Child and Adolescent Mental Health.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9541-3673
Karlstad University, Faculty of Social and Life Sciences, Centre for Research on Child and Adolescent Mental Health.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2986-2128
Karlstad University, Faculty of Social and Life Sciences, Department of Social Studies.
2011 (English)In: European Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1101-1262, E-ISSN 1464-360X, Vol. 21, no 6, p. 699-704Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: The purpose of this study was to analyse the connection between two types of social relations in school (to peers and to teachers) and psychosomatic health complaints among adolescents in school Year 9 in the Swedish compulsory school. In particular,              the focus is on the importance of students’ academic orientation as a possible modifier of the association between social relations and psychosomatic health complaints.

Methods: The data were collected during the 1995–2005 time period from approximately 10 000 Swedish adolescents in the age of 15–16 years by using a questionnaire that was handed out in the class room.

Results: There are strong associations between adolescents’ social relations in school (both to peers and to teachers) and psychosomatic health complaints. Worse relationships are connected to worse psychosomatic health. The health effects of teacher contacts                     were significantly modified by academic orientation; they were stronger for theoretically (i.e. those with better health) than for non-theoretically oriented students.

Conclusion: Interpreted from a social class perspective, the results may reflect that the theoretically oriented students to a higher degree strive to conform to the culture present in school making this group of students more sensitive for teacher relations                     manifested as recognitions, rewards or penalties. In order to promote social equity in health, efforts to improve social relations in school should not solely focus on the teacher–student relationships but also on the relationships between peers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford: Oxford University Press , 2011. Vol. 21, no 6, p. 699-704
Keywords [en]
adolescents; psychosomatic health complaints; social interactions in school; socio-economic differences
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-7414DOI: 10.1093/eurpub/ckq140ISI: 000297368800007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-7414DiVA, id: diva2:417884
Note

Advance access, published online September 30, 2011.

Available from: 2011-05-18 Created: 2011-05-18 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Social Relations and Health: How do the associations vary across contexts and subgroups of individuals?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Social Relations and Health: How do the associations vary across contexts and subgroups of individuals?
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Objectives: The aim of this thesis is to study the association between social relations and health in different social spheres, and to examine possible interaction effects.

Material and Methods: In Paper I, the link between measures of the psychosocial neighbourhood environment, the psychosocial working environment, and psychosomatic health is analyzed by using a subset of data from the survey Life and Health 2000.

In Paper II, the association between adolescent social relationships in school and psychosomatic health was analyzed by using the survey Young in Värmland.

In Paper III, the association between parental monitoring, peer activity frequency, and adolescent alcohol use was studied by using Young in Värmland as the data source.

In Paper IV, the links between adolescent perceptions of the psychosocial school climate, activities with parents, and psychosomatic health, were analysed by using Young in Värmland as the data source.

Results: The results from Paper I indicate that social relations in the neighbourhood environment, as well as the working environment, are independently related to psychosomatic health. The independent contributions imply that efforts to improve health can be successfully directed to the psychosocial neighbourhood environment, as well as to the psychosocial working environment.

The results from Paper II show that the social relations adolescents have in school may differ between subgroups of adolescents. The health effects of teacher contacts were stronger for the theoretically oriented students compared to the non-theoretically oriented students, suggesting that adolescents should be considered a heterogeneous group rather than a homogeneous one with respect to their social relations in school. Efforts to improve equity in health should consider these differences in order to be successful.

In Paper III the results imply that even though both parents and the peer group are important in order to understand the alcohol use patterns of adolescents, the importance of parents should not be underestimated. Parental monitoring had a protective effect on adolescent alcohol use, regardless of the frequency of peer activities.

In Paper IV, both the psychosocial school climate, and the frequency of activities with parents were related to psychosomatic health. The positive health effects of the psychosocial school climate were, furthermore, reinforced as a function of the frequency of activities with parents. This suggests that efforts to improve health should be directed to the school environment as well as to the family environment in order to be successful.

Conclusions: The importance and meaning of social relations differ between different social arenas as well as between sub-groups of individuals.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstad University, 2011. p. 107
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2011:30
Keywords
Social Relations, Social Capital, Health, Health Behaviours, School, Adolescents
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-7364 (URN)978-91-7063-364-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-06-07, Ericssonsalen, 9C 204, Karlstads universitet, Karlstad, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2011-05-18 Created: 2011-05-05 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full texthttp://eurpub.oxfordjournals.org/content/21/6/699.full.pdf+htmlhttp://eurpub.oxfordjournals.org/content/by/year

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Bergh, DanielHagquist, CurtStarrin, Bengt

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