Happiest Teenagers in the World: Shedding Light on the Shadow of School Stress Does ethnicity matter?
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Although the potential consequences of Dutch adolescents’ risen school stress on well-being have been addressed in many previous studies, the examination of differences in ethnicity and gender is scarce. Therefore, this study investigated the relationship of high levels of school stress and a low well-being, considering whether this association differs across ethnicity and gender. To test the hypotheses, the dataset of the Health Behavior in School-aged Children study (HBSC) was used. Analyses were based on data of 11-16-year-old adolescents in the Netherlands (N=8306). Well-being was measured with the separated and total score of the following constructs: emotional,- conduct,- hyperactivity,- and peer problems. Adolescents were divided into a nonwestern ethnic minority group consisting of Moroccan, Turkish, Surinam and Antillean adolescents and the Dutch majority group. As hypothesized, experiencing more school stress was related to a lower well-being. The results provide no support that this association differs with ethnicity nor across boys or girls. Surprisingly, the results demonstrate that the ethnic minority groups seem to have more emotional problems, independently of school stress. The results emphasize the need for intervention programs on how to positively cope with school stress in order to increase adolescents’ well-being.