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From a socioecological perspective, this study highlights the significance of “context” in school satisfaction research by investigating the role of diverse social contexts in the school satisfaction of children. Using representative primary data from the third wave of the International Survey of Children's Well-Being (Children's Worlds), this study employs responses from 1525 children (aged 9–14 years) from 17 primary and 16 secondary schools in Hong Kong to examine the effects of school, family, and community sense of belonging (SoB) and autonomy support (AS) and peer relationships (PR) on school satisfaction. All multivariate regression models were estimated in Stata SE 15.1 using cluster-robust standard errors to account for heteroskedasticity across the 33 primary and secondary schools where the 1525 school children were surveyed. Compared with the family, peer, and community contexts, the school context shows a higher bivariate correlation with school satisfaction. However, when the personal characteristics of the school children are controlled for in the multivariate model specifications, school and community AS and community SoB cannot significantly predict school satisfaction. Instead, high school SoB (β = 0.558, p < 0.001), family SoB (β = 0.267, p < 0.001), family AS (β = 0.178, p < 0.001), and PR (β = 0.221, p < 0.001) can significantly predict high perceived school satisfaction. This study contributes to the literature by showing that factors in the microsystem (i.e., school, peers, and family) moderate the effect of the exosystem (i.e., community factors) on school satisfaction, thereby positing the protective role of the microsystem (i.e., school, peers, and family) in children's school satisfaction against the effects of their exosystem (i.e, community). In the case of Hong Kong, this study suggests that the school environment plays a primary role in promoting children's school satisfaction, followed by their family and peers.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was funded by the Lingnan University Faculty Research Grant Children's Views on their Lives and Well-being in Hong Kong (Project number: 102157). We are indebted to the Children's Worlds Core Group for selecting us to be one of the 35 local research teams to contribute to the third wave of the International Survey of Children's Well-Being, which is funded by the Jacobs Foundation (http://www.isciweb.org). Shing Pui Doris Wong and Yee Yee Yovela Li provided expert research assistance throughout the key stages of this project. Gwyther Rees was instrumental in advising us about the sampling strategy, the items in the final survey questionnaire, the data cleaning, and the weighting. Finally, our gratitude to the 33 participating primary and secondary schools across Hong Kong, whose collaboration enabled our data collection.
Funding: This research was funded by the Lingnan University Faculty Research Grant Children’s Views on their Lives and Well-being in Hong Kong (Project number: 102157).
From a socioecological perspective, this study supports the assumptions about ecological systems theory, particularly, the role of the microsystem and exosystem in children’s development and demonstrates its applicability to primary and secondary school children in their middle years. The findings from this study signify that, systems within children’s microsystem, especially school, peers, and family, are interrelated and could function as potential “determinants” of as well as “protective” factors of their school satisfaction against the effects of the systems in their exosystem, particularly, the community. School as a socioecological context appears to play a primary role in promoting children’s school satisfaction, followed by family and peers. In addition, multiple socioecological factors, specifically, school and family sense of belonging and autonomy support and peer relationships, can directly affect children’s school satisfaction and possibly function as protective “social resources” for their school satisfaction against the effects of other socioecological factors. Specifically, H1, H2, H3 and H7 were supported by the findings.
© 2023 Elsevier Ltd
- Autonomy support
- Hong Kong
- Primary and secondary school children
- School satisfaction
- Sense of belonging
- Social contexts
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- 1 Finished
1/03/18 → 31/08/19
Project: Grant Research