Child self-report measures of primary-secondary transition experiences and emotional wellbeing: An international systematic literature review

Charlotte Bagnall , Divya Jindal-Snape

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Abstract

A systematic literature review of international empirical research was conducted to examine what child self-report measures have been used to assess their primary-secondary school transitions experiences and/or emotional wellbeing. The systematic review covered the period 01/2008 and 03/2021 with the aim of (a) understanding authors’ conceptualisation of primary-secondary school transitions and emotional wellbeing, and (b) systematically reviewing transitions and emotional wellbeing scales used in primary-secondary transitions research.

Using the EPPI-Centre (2010) method, after a rigorous screening of 4,518 records, 60 articles were included based on the study’s inclusion/exclusion criteria. Synthesis of the findings identified that the corpus of measures used to date to assess primary-secondary school transitions and/or emotional wellbeing have the following key limitations: 1. do not take into account the longitudinal and dynamic nature of primary-secondary school transitions and emotional wellbeing, 2. use negative terminology, 3. use inaccessible formats (e.g. broad number of items), 4. do not assess both transitions and emotional wellbeing in a single scale, 5. inconsistent reliability and validity assessment (especially when measures are adapted) and 6. key constructs (transitions and emotional wellbeing) are not conceptualised and/or theoretically defined. Lack of understanding of these limitations could negatively impact transitions research, and lead to policies and practices that are not fit for purpose, in turn having a negative impact on children’s emotional wellbeing. 

This is the first systematic literature review to focus on the use of emotion wellbeing scales in the context of primary-secondary transitions and concludes with several original and significant implications for future research, policy and practice.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4
JournalInternational Journal of Educational and Life Transitions
Volume2
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jan 2023

Keywords

  • emotional wellbeing
  • primary school
  • secondary school
  • school transitions
  • measures

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