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Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


5.1 PSYCHOLOGY, Social sciences

Publication Details

This work was presented at the Children's Research Network PhD Symposium 2019: "Doing research for and with children and young people".


Background: A review of the literature identifies that Irish post-primary students are at significant risk of experiencing negative affect in their academic lives. Previous research has demonstrated that initiatives aimed at promoting the development of emotional and social wellbeing in such students can produce positive outcomes such as higher academic achievement, improved self-efficacy and reduced attrition [1][2].

In 2017, the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) have recently published wellbeing guidelines which mandate all Irish secondary schools to allocate 300 hours of junior-cycle instruction to the promotion of students’ social and emotional wellbeing. While much is understood globally about the potential benefits of such programmes, little is known about the attitudes and views of educators in this regard.

The purpose of this study is to address this gap in knowledge by examining the attitudes and opinions of Irish post-primary educators as to how best to promote students’ wellbeing.

Methods: This study is being conducted in two phases using a sequential mixed-methods design. Phase one is quantitative in nature, consisting of a large-scale survey of second-level educators (n = 327). Phase two will consist of a series of focus groups which will be stratified according to their respective school-types.

Impact/Outcomes: This research is designed to provide an understanding of educators’ attitudes regarding the wellbeing guidelines and curricula so as to enhance best practice and promote whole-school approaches to promoting students’ social and emotional wellbeing.


[1] Duckworth, A. L., & Seligman, M. E. (2005). Self-Discipline Outdoes IQ in Predicting Academic Performance of Adolescents. Psychological Science, 16(12), 939-944. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9280.2005.01641.x

[2] Durlak, J. & Weissberg, R. (2005). A major meta-analysis of positive youth development programs. Presentation at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association. Washington D.C