How does teacher support matter for the mental well-being of students? (Best Evidence in Brief)

There is a new Best Evidence in Brief and every study mentioned in this newsletter is worth sharing this time, so it was hard to pick just one. But as I see how much the mental well-being of many pupils and students is under pressure, I chose those one:

Teacher support is one of the factors that can promote mental well-being among adolescents. A study recently published in Frontiers in Psychology aimed to explore how teacher support did this by examining the relationship between mental well-being, teacher support, resilience, and negative emotion. According to the study, teacher support matters not only because it can reduce negative emotions, but it can also improve resilience – a quality that builds up the healthy mental well-being of adolescents.

1228 Chinese adolescents participated in this study and completed a questionnaire containing measures for mental well-being, teacher support, negative emotions, and resilience. The results showed that:

  • Teacher support can significantly assist adolescents’ mental well-being.
  • Part of the effect of teacher support on mental well-being was through promoting resilience, which accounted for 30% of the total effects.
  • Moreover, teacher support also promoted mental well-being by reducing negative emotions. Reducing negative emotions had positive impacts on resilience, which in turn promoted mental well-being.

The authors suggested that the findings provide insights into actions for improving adolescents’ mental well-being. They suggested that schools develop prevention programs to inform teachers about the importance of their support, stress the importance of good interactions and communication between teachers and students, as well as provide activities that could develop adolescent resilience, such as by teaching them how to learn from their experience, how to control themselves, seek help, and regulate their negative emotions.

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