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5.1 PSYCHOLOGY, Social sciences

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This work was presented at the Irish Social Policy Association Postgraduate Association Early Career Research Conference 2018.


A review of the literature identifies that Irish second-level 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].

The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) have recently published wellbeing guidelines which will mandate all Irish secondary schools to allocate 300 hours of junior-cycle instruction to the promotion of students’ social and emotional wellbeing from September 2018. 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 analysing the attitudes and opinions of second-level educators as to how best to promote students’ wellbeing.

This research will be conducted in two phases using a sequential mixed-methods design. Phase one will be quantitative in nature and will consist of a large-scale survey of second-level educators. For phase two, participants will be stratified into focus groups according to their respective school-types.

The information garnered from this study can be utilised to assist in possible refinements of the NCCA wellbeing guidelines and ultimately facilitate educators in the delivery of the developing wellbeing curriculum. As such, in addition to a possible positive impact on educational standards, there is the potential for a holistic positive impact on student 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.


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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.