Are Hong Kong students happy in the school? An investigation of perceived social support, hope and self-efficacy as predictors

Sze Ching Cici LAM

Research output: Other contribution

Abstract

Background: In Hong Kong, striving for academic achievement is traditionally regarded by parents and schools as the prominent concern for Hong Kong students (Hui, 2000). This is partly the reason why Hong Kong ranks very highly in international tests of achievement, such as the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA, 2009), the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) (Tse, 2012), and the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) (Leung, 2012). Despite these academic results, how about their happiness in the school? The aim of this study is to test a model of school satisfaction of primary and secondary students in Hong Kong, based on Baker's (2006) developmental ecological perspectives and Huebner's (2001) cognitive mediation model. Perceived social support (i.e. parent support, teacher support and classmates support), hope and self -efficacy were tested by applying the structural equation modelling (SEM) method.
Method: Participants were 1671 students (female = 838, male =833) from three primary schools and three secondary schools in Hong Kong. The age of participants varied from 9 to 14 (M= 12.66, SD = 2.07). Ethical approval and consents forms from all stakeholders involved in this study were gathered before the start of the study. Measures of the Multidimensional Social Support Scale, hope, self-efficacy and school satisfaction were administered to all the participants were distributed during near the end of the second term of the students' school year. The students were asked to fill in a survey during a regular class period in the classroom. The duration of filling in the survey was normally around 35 minutes. Participants were required to answer the survey truthfully. They were asked to write down their school numbers when filling in the survey.
Results: Path analysis was conducted to test the roles of perceived social support (i.e. parent support, teacher support and classmate support) to self-efficacy, hope and schools satisfaction among Chinese primary and secondary students. The hypothesized model was based on Baker's (2006) developmental ecological perspectives and Huebner's (2001) cognitive mediation model. Estimation of path analysis with AMOS 20 provided evidence to support a good fit of the hypothesized model (model 4). The results showed that all the estimates of Model 4 were significant at the p< .01 level, except self- efficacy to school satisfaction. The goodness-of-fit indexes for Model 4 as follow: χ² (2, 1671) = 9.24, p< 0.01, CFI = 0.99;GFI=0.99; RMSEA = 0.05. The CFI and RMSEA meet the cut-off criteria of a good fit model and the χ² difference test was significant (Δχ² = 276.65, Δdf = 1, p< 0.01). Since Model 4 fits the data better comparing to Model 1, 2, and 3, therefore it is the preferred mode conceptualizing the interrelationships among the variables in the study. Results of path analyses indicated good support to a combination of environmental and cognitive factors in school satisfaction.
Conclusion: Results showed that compared to other variables, teacher support was the most significant variable predicting school satisfaction, followed by classmate support. Meanwhile, there was also indirect effect between parent support, teacher support and classmate support through hope to school satisfaction. Taking consideration of the Confucian-heritage culture, perceived teacher support, classmate support and students' belief in the future, such as hope are highlighted and discussed in understanding how schools can construct a positive school environment for the students. Copyright © 2017 Fifth World Congress on Positive Psychology.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017

    Fingerprint

Citation

Lam, S. C. C. (2017, July). Are Hong Kong students happy in the school? An investigation of perceived social support, hope and self-efficacy as predictors. Poster presented at the Fifth World Congress on Positive Psychology, Palais des congrès de Montréal, Montréal, Canada.