Associations between Finnish 9th grade students' school perceptions, health behaviors, and family factors

Haapasalo Ilona (Finnish Institute for Educational Research, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland)
Välimaa Raili (Department of Health Sciences, Research Center for Health Promotion, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland)
Kannas Lasse (Department of Health Sciences, Research Center for Health Promotion, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland)

Health Education

ISSN: 0965-4283

Publication date: 13 April 2012

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study was to examine the associations between students' perceptions of the psychosocial school environment, health‐compromising behaviours, and selected family factors. The analyses were based on data provided for the Health Behaviour in School‐aged Children Study (2006).

Design/methodology/approach

The data were obtained from 1,670 Finnish 9th graders. Logistic regression analysis was performed to identify the associations between school perceptions, health‐compromising behaviours, and selected family factors.

Findings

Educational aspiration was found to be the most influential factor connected to health‐compromising behaviour among both genders, favouring students who were intending to apply to upper secondary school. The results also indicated that all the measured dimensions of school perceptions were associated with health‐compromising behaviours: the more negative the perceptions, the more health‐compromising were the behaviours. The associations were somewhat different between girls and boys. In terms of engaging in health‐compromising behaviours, there was an association with school‐related social relationships among boys. By contrast, among girls, other aspects of the psychosocial school environment were more important, for example engagement with the school and school strain. The role of parental bonding and monitoring was also significant among girls.

Originality/value

The findings imply that attention should be paid to the health‐promoting factors of the school, and to gender differences, not merely in planning prevention or intervention, but in everyday school life.

Keywords

Citation

Ilona, H., Raili, V. and Lasse, K. (2012), "Associations between Finnish 9th grade students' school perceptions, health behaviors, and family factors", Health Education, Vol. 112 No. 3, pp. 256-271. https://doi.org/10.1108/09654281211217786

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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