‘It’s Just Performance All The Time’: Early Adolescents’ Accounts Of School-related Performance Demands And Well-being

Aktivitet: Foredrag og mundtlige bidragKonferenceoplæg


Recent decades have seen a rapid decline in mental health among early adolescents. Moreover, new patterns have emerged in mental health issues, as a higher number of children from more resourceful backgrounds are getting affected in ways previously unseen. This development has by some researchers been described as a “new form of marginalization”, where mental health issues are no longer predominantly present among traditionally marginalized groups. A growing number of researchers have linked the decline in mental health among youth to a rise in experienced performance demands in general, but especially within educational contexts. The aim of this study is to examine early adolescents’ accounts of the connection between school-related performance demands and their general well-being. The study was conducted among pupils in lower secondary education in Denmark. In selecting the four schools involved in this study, a maximum variation approach was applied, securing a great variety of the schools included in the study. Along with short-term participant observations, 38 focus group and individual interviews were conducted evenly distributed between the schools (n=80). Particularly within higher performing schools, clear links between experienced performance demands, self-critique and mental health issues were found among early adolescents, especially among older girls. On the contrary, lower performing settings tended to provide alternatives to high performance demands and less competitive environments. Findings of this study indicates how certain performance imperatives, and the strains hereof, are more assessable to pupils from more resourceful backgrounds.
Periode31 aug. 20213 sep. 2021
Begivenhedstitel15th ESA Conference 2021: Sociological Knowledges for Alternative Futures
PlaceringBarcelona, Spanien
Grad af anerkendelseInternational