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Article
Positive Mental Health and Academic Achievement in Elementary School: New Evidence From a Matching Analysis
Educational Researcher (2019)
  • Meredith O’Connor, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute,
  • Dan Cloney, Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER)
  • Amanda Kvalsvig, University of Otago
  • Sharon Goldfeld, Royal Children's Hospital (Melbourne Vic)
Abstract
Previous research suggests that gains in positive mental health (often termed flourishing, wellbeing, or competence) is associated with stronger academic achievement. This study examines the relationship between positive mental health at school entry and academic achievement at Grade 3, drawing on a representative sample of Australian children with linkage to results of standardized academic testing. Propensity score analysis was used and small positive associations were found between positive mental health and most academic outcomes. Associations were modest in size but sustained over the 3-year period and were similar across a range of academic skills. Future intervention research should assess the potentially wider ranging impact of targeting positive mental health outcomes in the early years of schooling.
Keywords
  • academic achievement,
  • achievement,
  • competence,
  • longitudinal studies,
  • mental health,
  • observational research,
  • positive mental health,
  • propensity score analysis,
  • psychology,
  • quasi-experimental analysis,
  • school psychology,
  • secondary data analysis
Publication Date
2019
DOI
10.3102/0013189X19848724
Citation Information
Meredith O’Connor, Dan Cloney, Amanda Kvalsvig and Sharon Goldfeld. "Positive Mental Health and Academic Achievement in Elementary School: New Evidence From a Matching Analysis" Educational Researcher (2019) ISSN: 1935102X
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/dan-cloney/43/