A multilevel analysis of life satisfaction among secondary school students: Do school-level factors matter?

Esther Yin Nei Cho*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


A significant body of research has examined individual-level factors and, to a lesser extent, country-level factors and their influence on the subjective wellbeing of young people. Although young people spend a substantial proportion of their time in school where they learn and grow, few studies have been undertaken to understand the role of school-level factors in young people's subjective wellbeing. The current study fills this gap by exploring the relationship between school-level factors and subjective wellbeing among a sample of 15-year old young people from the Programme for International Student Assessment 2015. The results of three-level hierarchical linear modelling show that the life satisfaction of students did vary across schools, though the variance was small. All individual-level variables, including demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, social relationships with parents, peers, and teachers, and health-related factors, were shown to significantly relate to the life satisfaction of students. Several school-level variables related to school background characteristics, school resources, and school policies and practices were also significantly related to students' life satisfaction. Country-level variables, including GDP per capita and public expenditure on health and education, were not significant to students' life satisfaction. This study contributes to the current body of knowledge by increasing understanding of school-level factors and their influence on young people's subjective wellbeing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-242
Number of pages12
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'A multilevel analysis of life satisfaction among secondary school students: Do school-level factors matter?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this