Building Social and Emotional Competencies for Coping with Academic Stress among Students in Lower Secondary School
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionVestad, L., Tharaldsen, K.B. (2021) Building Social and Emotional Competencies for Coping with Academic Stress among Students in Lower Secondary School. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 10.1080/00313831.2021.1939145
This qualitative study explores lower secondary school students’ experiences with components of a universal school-based social and emotional learning (SEL) intervention in relation to coping with academic stress. The intervention aimed at promoting the following five social and emotional competencies (SEC): relationship skills, emotional regulation, mindfulness, growth mindset, and problem-solving. Three student focus group interviews were conducted (n = 26). Conventional content analysis was completed with the assistance of NVivo software. Findings suggest that the students experienced the SECs mindfulness, problem-solving, and growth mindset as supportive in coping with academic stress. Emotional regulation and relationship skills were considered more challenging to utilize, which may reflect a need for more practical exercises for these competencies. Overall, findings contribute with new knowledge on how SEL interventions can be developed to build resources among adolescents to cope with academic stress.