DOI: 10.1002/car.2844 ISSN:

Examining the moderating effects of school factors on sense of acceptance and mental health: A multilevel analysis

Yuriko Yanagi
  • Law
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology and Child Health


Children who feel unaccepted by their mothers tend to have poor mental health. Although school factors (social support from homeroom or from teachers and friends, as well as classroom satisfaction) can protect students, few studies have examined these factors at the classroom level. Understanding the relationships between sense of acceptance, school factors and mental health may help students. This study, conducted in Japan, examines how sense of acceptance at the student level and school factors at the student and classroom levels affect the mental health variables of depression, loneliness, subjective happiness and emotional wellbeing. In total, 1470 Japanese school students (8–15 years old) from 68 classes participated. Multilevel analysis was conducted at the student and classroom levels. At the classroom level, social support from friends was associated with lower depression and loneliness and higher emotional wellbeing (p < 0.01). A positive classroom climate moderated the relationships of sense of acceptance with depression, loneliness, subjective happiness and emotional wellbeing (p < 0.05). Social support from friends at the classroom level and positive classroom climate at the student level serve as protective factors for students who feel unaccepted by their mothers. More activities boosting classroom student interactions would benefit such students.

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