School-level factors associated with teacher connectedness: A multilevel analysis of the structural and relational school determinants of young people's health

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Public Health (United Kingdom), 2018, 40 (2), pp. 366 - 374
Issue Date:
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© The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Faculty of Public Health. Background Conducting research on the antecedents of teacher connectedness (TC) is key to inform intervention and policy that can leverage the public health potential of teachers for young people's well-being. As part of the EU-funded Teacher Connectedness Project, this study aims to examine the contribution of a variety of school-level factors (including type of school, school size, student-teacher ratio, students per class and teacher gender). Methods Sample consisted of 5335 adolescents aged 11, 13 and 15 years that had participated in the HBSC study in England. Multilevel multinomial regression was used to examine the contributions of sociodemographic and school-level factors to TC. Results TC was lower in older adolescents and those from less affluent families, but similar in boys and girls. Regarding school-level factors, it was not the size of the school but the ratio of students per teacher which was significantly associated to TC, with higher student-teacher ratio being significantly associated with lower odds of medium-to-high TC. Some differences between mixed and all-girls schools were also found. Conclusions Health promotion strategies targeting student-teacher relationships need to consider how TC changes by age and SES and give attention to school-level factors, in particular the student-teacher ratio.
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