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Open AccessArticle

Academic Well-Being and Structural Characteristics of Peer Networks in School

1
Faculty of Social Sciences, Unit of Health Sciences, Tampere University, 33014 Tampere, Finland
2
PERLA—Tampere Centre for Childhood, Youth and Family Research, Tampere University, 33014 Tampere, Finland
3
Department of Adolescent Psychiatry, Tampere University Hospital, Pitkäniemi Hospital, 33380 Nokia, Finland
4
PROESA, Public Health Department, Universidad ICESI, Cali, Colombia
5
Institute of Health and Society, Université Catholique de Louvain, 1200 Brussels, Belgium
6
Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
7
Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 1600-560 Lisboa, Portugal
8
Department of Human Sciences, Society and Health, University of Cassino and Southern Lazio, 03043 Cassino, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(8), 2848; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17082848
Received: 25 February 2020 / Revised: 16 April 2020 / Accepted: 18 April 2020 / Published: 21 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue School Health and Wellbeing)
Peer networks at school and students’ position in these networks can influence their academic well-being. We study here individual students’ network position (isolation, popularity, social activity) and peer network structures at the school level (centralization, density, clustering, school connectedness) and their relations to students’ academic well-being (school burnout, SB; schoolwork engagement, SE). Classroom surveys for 14–16-year-olds (N = 11,015) were conducted in six European cities (SILNE survey). Students were asked to nominate up to five schoolmates with whom they preferred to do schoolwork. SB and SE correlated negatively (−0.32; p < 0.0001). Students had on average 3.4 incoming (popularity; range 0–5) and 3.4 outgoing (social activity; 0–5) social ties. Percentage of isolated students was 1.4. Students’ network position was associated weakly with academic well-being—popular students had less SB and higher SE, and socially active students had higher SE. School-level peer networks showed high clustering and school connectedness, but low density and low centralization. Clustering was associated with higher SB. Low centralization and high school connectedness protected from SB. Dense networks supported SE as did high average school connectedness. Correlations between these network indicators and academic well-being were, however, low. Our study showed that both students’ network position and network characteristics at the school level can influence adolescents’ academic well-being. View Full-Text
Keywords: adolescents; peers; school burnout; schoolwork engagement; social network analysis adolescents; peers; school burnout; schoolwork engagement; social network analysis
MDPI and ACS Style

Rimpelä, A.; Kinnunen, J.M.; Lindfors, P.; Soto, V.E.; Salmela-Aro, K.; Perelman, J.; Federico, B.; Lorant, V. Academic Well-Being and Structural Characteristics of Peer Networks in School. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 2848. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17082848

AMA Style

Rimpelä A, Kinnunen JM, Lindfors P, Soto VE, Salmela-Aro K, Perelman J, Federico B, Lorant V. Academic Well-Being and Structural Characteristics of Peer Networks in School. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(8):2848. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17082848

Chicago/Turabian Style

Rimpelä, Arja; Kinnunen, Jaana M.; Lindfors, Pirjo; Soto, Victoria E.; Salmela-Aro, Katariina; Perelman, Julian; Federico, Bruno; Lorant, Vincent. 2020. "Academic Well-Being and Structural Characteristics of Peer Networks in School" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 17, no. 8: 2848. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17082848

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