The impact of the transition from primary school to secondary school on young adolescents

Fontaine, C., Connor, C., Channa, S., Palmer, C., and Birchwood, M. (2017) The impact of the transition from primary school to secondary school on young adolescents. European Psychiatry, 41 (S1). EW0216. s179-s180.

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Introduction: Previous research suggests that adult anxiety disorders begin in adolescence and the transition from primary school to secondary school is the first challenge many young adolescents face, which could test their resilience for the first time.

Objectives: To examine students’ anxiety scores before and after their transition, and what protective and risk factors are present during this challenge.

Aims: To determine how the transition can impact anxiety in children, and if protective factors can help decrease the disruption that the transition can cause.

Methods: One hundred and eighty-four pupils completed questionnaires in their last term of primary school and during the first term of secondary school. At time 1: the attachment, school membership, and bullying and victimization measures were compared with pupils’ anxiety scores, along with whether their friends or siblings will be attending the same secondary school as them. These analyses will also be conducted once the pupils start secondary school, at time 2.

Results: Secure attachment was associated with lower anxiety and transition anxiety (F(2.56) = 7.255, P = .002; F(2.52) = 19.245, P = .000; F(2.181) = 10.181, P = .000; F(2.53) = 20.545, P = .000). School membership was associated with lower transition anxiety (F(2.181) = 4.151, P = .017; F(2.181) = 3.632, P = .028). Low victimisation was also associated with low anxiety and transition anxiety (F(2.181) = 14.024, P = .000; F(2.181) = 14.529, P = .000; F(2.181) = 9.381, P = .000).

Conclusions: These preliminary results suggest that attachment, school membership and victimisation all impact on pupils anxiety before they transition to secondary school. Therefore, schools could work together to increase school membership and decrease victimisation, particularly for pupils who they suspect will struggle with the transition.

Item ID: 73803
Item Type: Article (Abstract)
ISSN: 1778-3585
Copyright Information: Copyright © European Psychiatric Association 2017.
Additional Information:

Presented at the 2020 European Congress of Psychiatry: Together for Mental Health.

Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2022 23:05
FoR Codes: 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5201 Applied and developmental psychology > 520101 Child and adolescent development @ 50%
52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5201 Applied and developmental psychology > 520102 Educational psychology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280121 Expanding knowledge in psychology @ 100%
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