Life at school in Australia and Japan: the impact of stress and support on bullying and adaptation to school
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In this international, comparative study, path analysis was used to examine eight different aspects of Japanese and Australian students' experiences of school life in relation to their effect on adaptation to school. Adaptation was constructed to include information on enjoyment of school, feelings of belonging to school, and relationships with other students. Two separate path models were tested to compare questionnaire data from over 3000 Australian and 6000 Japanese students across Years 5-10. The questionnaire was developed collaboratively by the authors to examine issues of common concern in both countries. Issues that related to the impact on adaptation to school of stress and support: family teachers, peers and school work, as well as bullying were of particular interest. Lack of support and the influential effect of stress were found to exert direct negative effects on adaptation to school, especially for high school students in Japan and Australia. The path results also confirmed the stressful effects of bullying in both countries. The finding of a strong relationship between bullying others and being victimised is discussed in the paper. Finally, the differences and similarities between Japanese and Australian students' perceptions of school life are extrapolated.