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Mainland Chinese students’ self-appraisals of their psychological dispositions at school

Abstract

This paper reports mainland Chinese students’ self-appraisals about their psychological dispositions whilst at school. Increasing interest has turned to factors such as resilience, wellbeing, flourishing, happiness and satisfaction, which in turn are predicted to be associated with factors such as emotional stability, achieving personal goals, social fulfilment and quality of life. Such psychological dispositions are developed in conjunction with the influences of social systems such as schools. Although a number of researchers have collaborated with schools to investigate students’ dispositions in English speaking countries, similar research in mainland China is in its infancy. This is particularly the case for studies that seek students’ own perspectives. We administered a questionnaire about resilience, flourishing, wellbeing, self-concept, school satisfaction, mental health, and happiness at school to 2756 students in Years 5–9 in mainland China. As expected with a non-clinical population, most students reported positively across the various scales. However, dividing the sample into subgroups enabled the creation of stratified visual profiles that showed significant differences between students with different backgrounds, such as gender, age, and mental health. This study illustrates the importance of subgroup analyses to identify potential areas of concern for different types of students, which in turn may inform differentiated school-based intervention programs to support students to flourish.

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Correspondence to Helen Askell-Williams.

Appendix

Appendix

Confirmatory factor analyses and reliabilities of scales

Scale Sample size Sample clusters No. of items Chi-square DF p value CFI TLI RMSEA 90% CI Prob. RMSEA ≤ 0.05 SRMR Co-efficient H Items re-tained Items deleted
Resilience 2189 91 25 1460.599 266 0.000 0.942 0.935 0.045 0.043–0.048 1 0.035 0.898 22 3 (3; 18; 20)
Flourishing 2200 91 8 98.929 19 0.000 0.988 0.982 0.044 0.035–0.052 0.879 0.019 0.918 8  
Self concept 2200 91 11 213.535 36 0.000 0.983 0.974 0.047 0.041–0.054 0.751 0.032 0.889 11  
School satisfaction 2200 91 12 199.671 38 0.000 0.986 0.980 0.044 0.038–0.050 0.948 0.020 0.935 11 1 (12)
Children’s wellbeing 2201 91 12 192.084 41 0.000 0.983 0.977 0.041 0.035–0.047 0.995 0.022 F1: 0.732
F2: 0.868
11 1 (3)
Strengths and difficulties 2174 91 20 660.169 127 0.000 0.910 0.891 0.044 0.041–0.047 0.999 0.040 F1: 0.663
F2: 0.727
F3: 0.590
F4: 0.514
18 2 (7, 23)
Peer relations 2199 91 16 334.285 98 0.000 0.961 0.953 0.033 0.029–0.037 1 0.036 F1: 0.863
F2: 0.690
F3: 0.745
16  

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Askell-Williams, H., Skyrzypiec, G., Zhao, X. et al. Mainland Chinese students’ self-appraisals of their psychological dispositions at school. Soc Psychol Educ 21, 139–156 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11218-017-9404-z

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Keywords

  • Mainland Chinese students
  • Psychological dispositions
  • Wellbeing and mental health
  • School satisfaction
  • Resilience
  • Happiness