Previous research has linked demographic shifts in mental health issues among adolescents to a rise in personal expectations and a strong performance imperative, particularly within the educational system. This study aims to understand how early adolescents’ experiences of school-related performance demands and their general well-being are structured by class, gender and school context. Along with short-term participant observations, focus group and individual interviews were conducted within four schools varying greatly in the socioeconomic status of the school district, performance level and location (n=80). Connections between experiences of school-related performance demands, self-critique and mental health complaints, along with experiences of high performance demands outside of school, were more often found among students in schools located in high-resource areas. Schools in areas with lower socioeconomic status tended to be less competitive environments and provide alternatives to high performance within the school context, especially for girls.
|Journal||Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research|
|Publication status||Submitted - 20 Apr 2021|