Student health and wellbeing: a systematic review of intervention research examining effective student wellbeing in schools and their academic outcomes; main report and executive summary

Autor(es): Dix, Katherine; Ahmed, Syeda Kashfee; Carslake, Toby; Sniedze-Gregory, Shani; O'Grady, Elizabeth; Trevitt, Jenny

Organisation(s): Australian Council for Educational Research

Publisher(s): Evidence for Learning

Date: 2020

Pages: 67 p. + 7 p.

This review explored the research regarding the effects of school-based wellbeing interventions on student academic achievement (N = 320,505) and the wellbeing-related outcomes (N = 411,535) of social-emotional adjustment, behavioural adjustment, cognitive adjustment, and internalising symptoms. There were 75 studies that qualified and were included in the final analyses which involved 432 extracted outcomes from students 5 to 18 years of age. This review found that school-based wellbeing programs had a small positive effect on academic achievement, equivalent to two months of additional impact (= 0.17). Wellbeing programs had small to moderate effects on wellbeing-related measures: social-emotional adjustment (g = 0.14), behavioural adjustment (g = 0.15) , cognitive adjustment (g = 0.18), and a moderate impact on internalising symptoms (g = 0.20) compared to 'business as usual', consistent with previous reviews. The Addendum, a list of wellbeing programs available to Australian educators and parents is categorised according to target audience: students, parents, educators/staff, or leaders; level of schooling: early learning, primary school, or secondary school; and focus of the program: bullying and cyber safety; families and parenting education; mindfulness; social and emotional learning; general mental wellbeing; connectedness and relationships; resilience; seeking support; emotional and behavioural difficulties; and self-esteem and body image. An indication of the level evidence quality for each program is included.

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