Maltese Students' Perspectives About Their Experiences at School and Their Mental Health
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In this article we report Maltese primary and secondary students' perspectives about their school experiences and their mental health. Questionnaires were completed by 281 students. Relationships emerged between students' reports about their involvement in bullying, mental health status, and a range of typical features of school environments. A conservative non-parametric Jonckheere-Terpstra test indicated significant unidirectional differences, from non-involved through to bully/victim groups, for six selected variables that have the potential to be influenced by schools' policies and practices, namely, positive school community, coping with school work, social and emotional education, friendships, safety, and teachers' responses to bullying events. Effect sizes ranged from small to medium. This study illustrates identifiable patterns of students' social, emotional and academic wellbeing. It highlights the need for intervention programs that are conceptualised to meet the needs of different student groups, in this case, involvement in bullying as a victim or as a bully. It also highlights how a range of school-based influences may operate together to affect the wellbeing of students, and points to the need for multi-disciplinary collaboration and approaches to mental health promotion in schools.
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