School values: a comparison of academic motivation, mental health promotion, and school belonging with student achievement

Kelly-Ann Allen, Margaret L. Kern, Dianne Vella-Brodrick, Lea Waters

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6 Citations (Scopus)


School vision and mission statements are an explicit indication of a school's priorities. Research has found academic motivation, mental health promotion, and school belonging to be the most frequently cited themes in these statements. The present study sought to examine whether these themes relate to student academic achievement, as indicated by National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) scores. A stratified sample of 287 secondary schools in Victoria, Australia was analysed using two language analytic approaches: qualitative emergent coding and supervised lexical analysis. The highest academic scores occurred when mental health promotion was included, though results depended to some extent on the analytic approach and the level of aggregation. Results do suggest that explicitly prioritising both academic performance and mental health is beneficial. Further, the study provides an approach for using language analysis to investigate multilevel constructs in schools.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-47
Number of pages17
JournalThe Educational and Developmental Psychologist
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • academic achievement
  • lexical analysis
  • mental health promotion
  • mixed methods
  • school belonging

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