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The impact of the transition from primary school to secondary school on young adolescents

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 March 2020

C. Fontaine*
Affiliation:
Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom
C. Connor
Affiliation:
Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom
S. Channa
Affiliation:
Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom
C. Palmer
Affiliation:
Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom
M. Birchwood
Affiliation:
Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom
*
*Corresponding author.

Abstract

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Introduction

Previous research suggests that adult anxiety disorders begin in adolescence and the transition from primary school to secondary school is the first challenge many young adolescents face, which could test their resilience for the first time.

Objectives

To examine students’ anxiety scores before and after their transition, and what protective and risk factors are present during this challenge.

Aims

To determine how the transition can impact anxiety in children, and if protective factors can help decrease the disruption that the transition can cause.

Methods

One hundred and eighty-four pupils completed questionnaires in their last term of primary school and during the first term of secondary school. At time 1: the attachment, school membership, and bullying and victimization measures were compared with pupils’ anxiety scores, along with whether their friends or siblings will be attending the same secondary school as them. These analyses will also be conducted once the pupils start secondary school, at time 2.

Results

Secure attachment was associated with lower anxiety and transition anxiety (F(2.56) = 7.255, P = .002; F(2.52) = 19.245, P = .000; F(2.181) = 10.181, P = .000; F(2.53) = 20.545, P = .000). School membership was associated with lower transition anxiety (F(2.181) = 4.151, P = .017; F(2.181) = 3.632, P = .028). Low victimisation was also associated with low anxiety and transition anxiety (F(2.181) = 14.024, P = .000; F(2.181) = 14.529, P = .000; F(2.181) = 9.381, P = .000).

Conclusions

These preliminary results suggest that attachment, school membership and victimisation all impact on pupils anxiety before they transition to secondary school. Therefore, schools could work together to increase school membership and decrease victimisation, particularly for pupils who they suspect will struggle with the transition.

Disclosure of interest

The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.

Type
e-Poster walk: Prevention of mental disorders and promotion of mental health
Copyright
Copyright © European Psychiatric Association 2017
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