• Camilla Gejl Pedersen
4. term, Sociology, Master (Master Programme)
Introduction: Education is on the agenda in Denmark and government after government keep wishing for more and better-educated high school students. Focus is on knowledge and skills. Little attention is given to the fact that mental well-being is an important component in educational output as well. Because mental well-being is associated with increased learning and completion of education. However Danish adolescent from socioeconomic deprived homes suffer from negative social inheritance in mental well-being. This can seriously diminish their chan¬ces of getting a good high school education.
Aim: This study investigates whether the association between socioeconomic position and daily emotional symptoms among high school students can be modified by social capital in high school classes after taking individual socio-demographic characteristics (e.g. gender, age, etnicity) and individual social capital into account. The thesis illuminates three associations 1) socioeconomic inequality in mental well-being among high school students. 2) Social capital and mental well-being among students. 3) Whether social capital can modify socioeconomic inequality in mental well-being. Based on these three association the following hypothesis is deri¬ved: High social capital in high school classes reduces socioeconomic in-equality in mental well-being.
Methods: The study uses data from the cross-sectional study The Danish Youth Cohort 2014. 57.347 Danish high school students nested within 2774 classes within 119 schools participated in the study (student response rate 72%). 62% were female students, and 99,2% were between 15-19 years old. In the data analysis fixed and random effects of a 3-level logistic regression model with the (HBSC-SC) for daily emotional symptoms as the outcome was applied.
Results: Socioeconomic inequality in mental well-being was found with students from homes with the lowest income having the highest prevalence of daily emotional symptoms. Both students individual and classes collective social capital had beneficial effects on student’s mental well-being. Collective social capital was found to have an impact on student’s mental well-being even after controlling for individual social capital. Finally although social capital in high school classes had beneficial effects it was not able to reduces socioeconomic inequality in mental well-being.
Conclusion: The hypothesis is rejected because high social capital in high school classes does not reduce socioeconomic inequality in mental well-being. Instead, social capital in high school classes benefits all students regardless of socioeconomic background.
Publication date5 Sept 2016
Number of pages119
ID: 239911069