The gendered interplay between success and well-being during transitions

Samuel, Robin (2014). The gendered interplay between success and well-being during transitions. Educational research, 56(2), pp. 202-219. Taylor & Francis 10.1080/00131881.2014.898915

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Background: Young females have been found to out-perform males in terms of grades and university degrees in many studies. At the same time, young women seem to exhibit lower levels of well-being compared with men. Interestingly, little work has evaluated the interplay between educational success and well-being. However, antecedents and consequences of educational success will likely affect life chances and further educational and occupational trajectories. Purpose: This paper contributes to this important, but as of yet, underdeveloped topic. The interplay between educational success – conceptualised as successful intergenerational educational mobility – and well-being is analysed as a dynamic, reciprocal and gendered process. Sample: Panel data from the Transition from Education to Employment Project (TREE) is used to study the gendered interplay between educational success and well-being. TREE focuses on post-compulsory educational and labour market pathways of the PISA 2000 cohort in Switzerland. It is based on a sample of 6343 young people who left compulsory schooling in 2000. Data were collected annually from 2001 to 2007. At the time of the first interview, the age range of the middle 50% of the youths was between 16.5 and 17.3 years. Design and methods: As previous research shows, episodes of educational mobility will not be evenly distributed over the observed period. Thus, an autoregressive cross-lagged mixture model framework is employed to account for the expected unequal distribution of the variables over time and the multilevel structure of the data. Within this framework, two modelling approaches are combined to test the implied reciprocal relationship between educational success and well-being. In the Latent Transition Analysis part of the model, success is measured as latent classes with fixed outcome categories. In the Autoregressive Structural Equation part of the model, well-being is specified to correlate over time. Models were estimated separately for males and females to allow for different error variances. Results: The models reveal that mechanisms of social comparison are gendered and operate differently at various stages of the observed period. Young females seem to be more likely to succeed and to experience positive effects in terms of well-being during successful episodes when compared to males. On the downside, females’ well-being seems to be more strongly affected by failure. Conclusions: This paper shows that well-being is a gendered personal resource during the transition to adulthood. These findings contribute to the literature on gender differences in educational success as they show how gender, as a social process, operates to create different success and well-being outcomes.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Institute of Sociology

UniBE Contributor:

Samuel, Robin


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology




Taylor & Francis


[1036] Transitions from Education to Employment (TREE) Official URL




David Leander Baumann

Date Deposited:

14 Oct 2019 15:52

Last Modified:

14 Oct 2019 15:52

Publisher DOI:


Additional Information:

Notes: treeanalysis analysis_thirdparty; Date: 2014

Uncontrolled Keywords:

gender, education, success, well-being, intergenerational educational mobility, transition


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