School alienation and student well-being: A cross-lagged longitudinal analysis

Morinaj, Julia; Hascher, Tina (2019). School alienation and student well-being: A cross-lagged longitudinal analysis. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 34(2), pp. 273-294. Springer 10.1007/s10212-018-0381-1

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School alienation is identified as a severe educational problem that hampers stu- dents’ academic journey. However, little is known about the concept’s interplay with other socio-emotional phenomena such as well-being. This longitudinal study explored the cross- lagged associations among alienation from learning, teachers, and classmates, and different dimensions of student well-being. To investigate the direction of the relationship between school alienation and student well-being, we used self-report instruments at two measurement points over a 1-year interval. Data were collected from a sample of 508 Swiss secondary school students from grade 7 to grade 8 participating in the “School Alienation in Switzerland and Luxembourg (SASAL)” research project. Controlling for gender differences, the results of latent variable modeling revealed considerable stability effects across time and a causal effect of school alienation on student well-being, whereas the reversed effect of student well-being on subsequent school alienation was nonsignificant. The three domains of school alienation were found to have different associations with six well-being dimensions. Alienation from learning had a negative impact on positive attitudes to school and enjoyment in school. Alienation from teachers negatively predicted positive attitudes to school and positively predicted worries and social problems in school. Alienation from classmates negatively influenced future positive attitudes to school and contributed to the prevalence of social problems in school. The findings provide empirical support for the importance of students’ feelings of alienation in determining students’ sense of well-being and imply that both academic and social aspects of schooling have a significant impact on young people’s stances toward school.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Education > School and Teaching Research

UniBE Contributor:

Morinaj, Iuliia and Hascher, Tina


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 370 Education


0256-2928, 1878-5174






Christine Alexandra Röthlisberger

Date Deposited:

28 Mar 2019 09:42

Last Modified:

03 Feb 2021 14:01

Publisher DOI:





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