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Issue: 2021, June, Volume 15, No 2
issue id: 2021_6_15_2
article id: 2021_6_15_2_5

Original Research

The Relationship Between Secondary School Students' Quality of School Life and Aggression Level

Ortaokul Öğrencilerinde Okul Yaşam Kalitesi ve Saldırganlık Arasındaki İlişki

İlknur Yıldız1, Zeynep Temel Mert1, Nurcan Akgül Gündoğdu2

This study aimed to determine the relationship between quality of school life and aggression levels of secondary school students. The sample of the descriptive-cross-sectional study consisted of 822 students in three secondary schools of a city center in Turkey. The data of research were collected with “Personal Information Form, School Life Quality, Buss-Perry Aggression Scale”. Frequency, percentage, t test, ANOVA test and logistic regression analysis were used to evaluate the data. Of all students 56.2% were female, 43.8% were male, and the mean age was 12.64 ± 1.04. There was a significant difference between the students’ gender, school achievement, friendship relations, school life quality, aggression mean scores. In order to prevent aggression in schools, it can be suggested to create tools that provide cooperation between student-family, school management according to the risk levels.
Key words: Secondary school students, school life quality, aggression, school health nursing, relationship

Okul yaşamının kalitesi ve saldırganlığın okul sağlık hizmetleri açısından birbirini etkilediği söylenebilir. Bu çalışma ortaokul öğrencilerinin okul yaşamı kalitesi ve saldırganlık düzeyleri arasındaki ilişkiyi belirlemek amacıyla yapılmıştır. Bu tanımlayıcı kesitsel araştırmanın örneklemini şehir merkezindeki üç ortaokula giden 822 öğrenci oluşturmuştur. Araştırmanın verileri “Kişisel Bilgi Formu, Okul Yaşam Kalitesi Ölçeği ve Buss-Perry Saldırganlık Ölçeği” kullanılarak toplanmıştır. Verilerin değerlendirilmesinde sıklık, yüzde, t testi, ANOVA testi ve lojistik regresyon analizi kullanılmıştır. Öğrencilerin %56.2’si kız ve %43.8’i erkek olup, ortalama yaş 12.64 ± 1.04 olarak bulunmuştur. Öğrenciler arasında cinsiyet, okul başarısı, arkadaşlık ilişkileri ve ortalama okul yaşam kalitesi ile saldırganlık puanları arasında anlamlı fark vardır. Okullarda öfkenin önlenmesi ve kontrolü için risk düzeylerine göre öğrenci-aile ve okul yönetimi arasında işbirliği sağlayan projelerin oluşturulması önerilebilir.
Anahtar kelimeler: Ortaokul öğrencileri, okul yaşam kalitesi, okul sağlığı hemşireliği, ilişki

Received / Geliş tarihi: 25.10.2020
Accepted / Kabul tarihi: 11.01.2021

1 Sivas Cumhuriyet University, Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Pediatric Nursing, Sivas, Turkey 2 Bandırma Onyedi Eylül University, Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Public Health Nursing, Bandırma, Balıkesir, Turkey

* Address for Correspondence / Yazışma Adresi: Zeynep Temel Mert, Sivas Cumhuriyet University, Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Pediatric Nursing,,58140, Sivas, TURKEY.
E-mail: z.temell@gmail.com
** This study was presented as an oral presentation at the 3th International Health Sciences Congress held in Ankara/Turkey between November 29-December 1, 2018.

Yıldız İ, Temel Mert Z, Akgül Gündoğdu N. The Relationship Between Secondary School Students' Quality of School Life and Aggression Level. TJFMPC, 2021;15(2): 236-243.

DOI: 10.21763/tjfmpc.816198

School life quality is a concept based on the quality of life. The quality of life, which is considered as subjective well-being, is a perception of the individual's own physical and spiritual development and is the determinant of life satisfaction.1 School life quality refers to an environment where every individual in the school feels happy. Considering that children spend most of their lives at school, the importance of the quality of school life can be clearly seen. The school life quality scale which is consisted six sub-dimensions as school feelings, school management, teachers, student communication, social events, status also can be evaluated as a vehicle to find out this importance. 2 Level of the school life quality, signified by this way, can also determine level of embracing-adopting feelings, respect, and love for the teacher and friends, social and academic success. In the literature, it has been emphasized that positive school lives affect personality development and academic success in a positive way and low quality of school life has been in a relationship with negative issues as violence in children, ego (self-respect concept), and peer pressure. 3,4,5,6,7

Aggression, seen on the children and adolescents is one of the most important problems defined as “Verbal or physical behavior with the intention of causing physical or psychological harm to another person”.8 Although the most of researches focuses on puberty 9,10, the children of secondary school also show negative behaviours like aggression which put them and their environment in difficult situations and these behaviours continue at puberty and adulthood. 11,12,13 There are biological, psychological/psychiatric and social factors that affect aggressive behaviours on the children and adolescents.

It has been found out that a lot of factor like family attitude, age, gender, academic success affects aggression at the children of secondary school.8,14, 15,16 It is seen that the aggression and violence incidents in our country and in the world are increasing day by day and spread in schools.17 Aggression and violence in schools can take different forms like that a student's swearing to a person (such as student, teacher, administrator), physical damage and verbal threat, push at school corridor, fighting, threaten another person with a gun, taking drugs/alcohol, injuring and killing. The environment and culture of the school, the characteristics of the students and school staff, the physical and social characteristics of the school are effective in the emergence of aggressive and violent behaviors in schools.17 In the light of this information, it can be said that school life quality and aggression are two important concepts that affect each other. In other words, increasing the quality of school life plays an important role in decreasing the aggression and decreasing aggression, also increases the quality of school life. Improving the quality of school life and preventing aggressive behaviors of students who are in charge of school health nurses are important for school health services.18 In the literature, it was not found any studies examining the relationship between school life quality and aggression levels of secondary school students in Turkish society. It is thought that the absence of a school health nurse who can detect the problems and risk factors of school children such as this may be affecting. Because although legal regulations related to school health services in Turkey, these services are carried out by the Family and Community Health Centers in public schools.19 In fact, within the scope of “the Nursing Regulation”, “the School Health Nurse” is defined as the practitioner of school health services.19 However, this task definition is not available in public schools. Only private schools in large cities have a limited number of school health nurses. We think that school health services could not be met primarily because of the lack of public schools and a limited number of private schools with school health nurses. Therefore, this study was conducted to determine the relationship between school life quality and aggression levels of secondary school students studying in three state secondary school which has not school nurses.

Therefore, this study was carried out to determine the relationship between school life quality and aggression levels of secondary school students.

Research Questions
• What are the school life quality and aggression risk levels of the students in the 10 to 15 age group?
• Do the socio-demographic characteristics and school success and friendship relationships of the students in the 10 to 15 age group affect the students' school life quality and aggression?


Study Type
A descriptive and cross-sectional research model was used in the study.

The population of the study consisted of students studying in the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth grade of three state secondary schools in the city center of Sivas in Turkey. All of the population was included in the sample without selecting the sample. The sample consisted of 822 students who accepted to participate in the study between 17 September and 31 October 2018.

At the research, Personal Information Form, School Life Quality Scale, Buss-Perry Aggression Scale has been used as data collection tool include descriptive feaures of students.

Personal Information Form
In the Personal Information Form which was created by searching the literature by the researchers; There are a total of 10 questions related to the child's age, gender, education level of parents, working status, perception of school achievement and friendship.

School Life Quality Scale
A five-point Likert-type rating was made for each item in the School life quality scale developed by Sarı (2012). 2 It consists of 35 items and six subscales. Subscale of the feeling related to school include items 1, 7, 13, 15, 17, 20, 25, school management subscale include items 2, 8, 14, 18, 21, 24, students subscale include items 4, 10, 19, 23, 28, social activities subscale include items 5, 11, 29, status subscale include items 6, 12, 30 and teachers subscales include items 9, 16, 22, 27. The high total scores obtained from the subscales indicate a high quality of school life in terms of the related subscales. Cronbach Alpha value is 0.855, which has been got from this study.

Buss - Perry Aggression Scale
Turkish validation and reliability of the scale, developed by Buss and Perry (1992), has been made by Demirtaş-Madran (2013).20 The five-point Likert scale consists of 29 items and four subscales. Physical aggression subscale includes 9 questions related to harm physical to another person; anger subscale includes 7 questions emphasize emotional aspect of aggression; hostility subscale includes 8 questions aim to measure cognitive aspect of aggression; and verbal aggression subscale includes 5 questions about harm with verbal way to another person. Items 9 and 16 of the scale are scored by reverse coding. 20
Cronbach Alpha value is 0.858, it has been got from this study.

Independent variables: descriptive features like age, gender, school achievement, friendly relations, etc.
Dependent variables: determinant of level of school life quality and aggression behaviours.

Data Analysis
Data of research was evaluated via IBM SPSS 22.0 (IBM Corp. Armong, New York, AB). Statistically, unit numbers (n), percentages (%), mean, standard deviation (X ± SD) values were used. Normality of data were evaluated via Kolmogrov-Smirnov test. Since the data provide to parametric conditions, the data has been analysed via Independent Sample t-test for independent two group and via F test (ANOVA) for more than two groups. Level of error was taken as 0.05. Statistically, logistic regression (Forward LR) analysing was performed to determine risk level of categorical variables determined to be statistically significant. Independent variables coded as 1 in logistic regression analysis was shown in Table 3.

Ethical Principles of the Study
Before starting the study, the necessary permissions (Ethics Committee No: 2018-06 / 07) were taken and written and verbal consents were obtained from the students and their families. The data were collected by the researchers face to face interview method. It is stated that the data collected from this study will be used only within the scope of the research and that confidentiality will be ensured.

The students’ 56.2% were female and the students’ 43.8% were male and the mean age was 12.64 ± 1.048. The mothers’ 54.7% were secondary school graduates and the fathers’ 39.0% of were high school graduates and the parents’ 77.3% were equal to the expenses of their income. the students’ 44.6% stated that their school achievement was moderate and the students’ 83.6% stated that their friendship relationship was good (Table 1).

Table 1

The mean score of the students' quality of school life was 87.624 ± 13.993 and it was determined that the students were in risky group in terms of having low school life quality, having negative feelings about school, negative social interaction with their peers, not creating a healthy learning environment, and having self-worthless vision. At the same time, the average Buss-Perry Aggression Scale score of the same students was 76.223 ± 21.395. Nearly half of the students were exposed to physical attack and more than half were exposed to verbal attack, anger behavior, hostility to school and peers, and aggressive behavior. The results are given in Table 2 and the risk levels of students' is presented in Figure 1.

Table 2

Figure 1

In Table 3, the relationship between some independent variables that affect students' school life quality scores can be evaluated by logistic regression analysis according to the difference. It was found that the risk of having negative feelings towards school in the ages of 13-15 was 1.629 (odd=1.629, %95 CI=1.01-2.62) times higher than those in the 10-12 age group. It was found that according to status, the risk of having a self-worthless vision in the ages of 13-15 was 1.542(odd=1.542, %95 CI=1.03-2.30) times higher than those in the 10-12 age group. Finally, it was found that the risk of negative teacher-student interaction was 0.651(odd=0.651, %95 CI=0.49-0.85) times higher than those in the 10-12 age group. The risk of having the low-school quality of life for students with poor friendship was found to be 5.082(odd=5.082, %95 CI=1.73-14.89) times higher than those with good friendship. The risk of having negative feelings towards school was found to be 6,714 times higher than those with good relations (odd = 6.714, 95% CI = 1.01-2.62). The risk of having negative social interaction with peers was found to be 3.389 times (odd = 3.389, 95% CI = 1.07-10.68) higher than those with good friendship. According to statu, the risk of self-esteem was found to be 1,685 (odd=1.685, %95 CI=1.13-4ws wat2.49 times higher in male students than female students. It was found that the risk of self-esteem was found to be 2,949 (odd=2.949, %95 CI=1.51-5.72) times higher in students with low-income families than in high-school students. Finally, It was found that the risk of self-esteem was found to be 2,723 (odd=2.723; %95 CI=1.11-6.63) times higher in students with low school achievement compared to successful students (Table 3).

Table 3

If the relationship between some independent variables that affect students' aggression scores can be evaluated by logistic regression analysis according to the difference, male students were found to have a 1.532 times (odd=1.532; %95 CI=1.15-2.03) higher risk of aggressive behavior than female students and to have a 2.459 times (odd=2.459; %95 CI=1.84-3.27) higher risk of physical aggression behaviour than female students. Finally, male students were found to have 1.350 (odd=1.350; %95 CI=1.00-1.80) times higher risk of anger behavior than female students.

In addition, it was found that the risk of aggressive behavior was found to be 1.946 times (odd=1.946; %95 CI=1.46-2.57); higher, the risk of physical aggression behavior was 1.765 times (odd=1.765; %95 CI=1.32-2.34); higher, the risk of verbal aggression behaviour was 1.580 times (odd=1.580; %95 CI=1.18-2.11); higher, and the risk of anger behaviour 1.548 times (odd=1.548; %95 CI=1.16-2.06) higher in the age group of 13-15 than the 10-12 age group. Finally, it was found that the risk of hostility to school/friends was found to be 1,976 times higher (odd=1.976; %95 CI=1.47-2.65) in the age group of 13-15 than the 10-12 age group (Table 3).

School life quality is shaped by school children involving school culture and life adapting to school life. Feelings related to school, affected approach of school management, teachers, and students handling in the scope of school life quality, can affect school children’s behaviours, school achievement and continuity to going to school.14 Therefore, in order to increase school life quality, it is important to determine effective factors.

At the research, 13-15 age group students are at risky group on account of having negative feelings, self-esteem, and failure to create a healthy learning environment, perception of insufficiency teacher support.

In a similar study in which adolescents’ aggresive behaviours affecting school life quality and school adaptation were examined, negative feeligs towards school were found to be 1.31 time higher in older age group and perception of low teacher support (risk of self-esteem)2.91 times, the status was found to be 2.24 times higher.14

This conclusion may support the idea that students do not trust school management and teachers and exhibit such behaviours as self-protection behaviour.21,14 In our study, the determinants of gender in school behavior of behaviors 2 especially in behavior of aggression - were supported by the finding that male students were more at risk of seeing themselves as worthless. In a similar study, it was determined that male students' low self-esteem risk was 2.07 times higher than that of female students,14 and in other studies, it was determined that the male student turned towards aggressive behaviors due to his / her worthless vision and negative emotions towards the school.22,23, 24, 25 In this study and similar studies, 23,14 it was determined that female students had higher self-esteem than male gender, found positive teacher-student relationship and feelings towards school were more positive. At the same time, the low school achievement was found to increase the risk level of self-esteem among the students. In a study, it was found that the rate of showing aggressive behavior of students with low academic success was 1.31 times higher.14

In the social activities dimension of the school quality of life scale, the student believes that “in my school is the place where the other students accept me as I am” 14, 2 mentioned that every child needs an environment in which he / she can feel emotionally and socially safe, has no fears and can cope with their self-distrust. In this respect, friendship relations are one of the topics that strengthen the adaptation to the school. In our study, it was determined that the students who have negative social interaction with their peers were in the risky group in terms of their poor life quality, negative feelings towards their school. In a similar study, it was found that adolescents with bad friendship with their classmates had a 2.68 times risk of having difficulty in social interaction and 3.90 times higher risk of feeling negative towards school.14 In a study that determined the predictors of secondary school students according to the school quality of life,26 it was stated that the negative social environment in the school environment adversely affected the friendship relationships of the students and therefore the negative emotions towards school and the risk of decrease in the quality of school life were higher in this group. In our study, the low self-esteem and school achievement level of the students with low family income were also low. Similarly, in two studies, similar to our study, it was found that the income level of the family had a negative effect on the quality of school life and school success.27,28 In line with these results, it may be effective to plan specific solutions for each student by identifying risk factors and the factors that increase the level of risk.

The aggression caused by the interaction of individual and environmental characteristics and the feeling of anger is defined as a universal problem.17 In order to prevent aggressive behavior in schools, it is important to determine the factors that lead to aggression and the factors affecting it. In the study, it was determined that the mean scores of aggression in the 13-15 age group was higher and the risk of aggressive behavior was higher. In the similar studies, aggression behaviors were found to increase as age increased.29,30,8 It is thought that the physiological and psychological changes experienced with the onset of adolescence will be effective in these results. Growing children may have a desire to appear stronger and more independent in the family and friendly environment.
One of the factors affecting aggression behavior is gender. In the study, it was found that male students had higher risk of showing physical aggression and anger behavior. According to the differences in the relationship between independent variables, similar studies conducted with logistic regression analysis found that the aggressiveness in the male sample was 1.26 times 31 and 4. 90 times more.14 Additionally, in some studies conducted in our country and abroad, aggression behaviors were found to be higher in males.29, 32, 30, 4, 33,16, 10 This result may be related to the acceptance or support of aggressive behaviors when male children are raised. In addition, by society, the girl's aggression and anger behaviours are expected that do not reveal and suppress and mens aggression behaviors are perceived as signs of power and masculinity.

In the study, it was determined that the perception of school achievement significantly affected the mean scores of aggression. Similar studies have shown that the level of success is related to aggression and students with low academic achievement exhibit aggressive behaviors more frequently.8,13 Academic failure is considered to be an individual risk factor that increases the likelihood of showing aggression behaviour of child or adolescent.17 Students who perceive their academic success as low can exhibit aggressive behaviors in order to attract interest. Therefore, it can be said that identifying and supporting children with low academic achievement may be an important approach in preventing aggressive behaviors.

In the study, it was determined that friendship relations significantly affected the aggression behaviors. In the literature, it is stated that among the protective factors related to the school preventing violence in young people, academic achievement, school attachment, positive school environment and peers are effective.34 Venter and Poggenpoel (2006) found that students learn about their aggression behaviors in their educational environment in relation to their peers.35,17 This result can be interpreted to be more risky for children who are not in a positive relationship with their friends, excluded and who are in a group of friends with aggressive behaviors. In this respect, children with risk should be monitored and evaluated in more detail.

According to the results of the study, a statistically significant difference was found between gender and school life quality scale, school management, status and teacher sub-scale mean scores. Additionally, it was found that significantly difference between the family income level and school feelings, school management, students, status, teachers, and school life quality total scale mean scores(p<0.05). Between school success and school-related emotions and situations, between mean friendship scores and scores of school-based emotions, social activities, status, teachers subscale and average scores, there was a statistically significant difference (p <0.05). If the mean scores of students' aggression scale and subscale scores are examined, the mean total score of physical/verbal aggression and aggression according to gender; There was a statistically significant difference between school achievement and companionship relations, physical aggression, anger, hostility, and aggression mean score (p <0.05). The independent variables affecting the determinants of school life quality and aggression were 13-15 years of age, male gender, low school performance and low family income, and poor friendship.

Implications for Practice
In this respect, the cooperation between student family and school management can be ensured in the prevention and control of aggression in schools. In addition, randomized controlled experimental studies including individual or group interviews can be recommended for students and their families whose risk level is determined.

Research findings obtained from the 10-15 age group can not be generalized for all secondary school students across Turkey. However, the results obtained from the study can be used to understand the profiles of secondary school students in the age group of 10-15 who are studying in schools in the city center of Sivas.

Declaration of Conflicting Interests
The author(s) did not report any potential conflicts of interest related to the research, author and/or publication of this article.

The author(s) did not receive any financial support for the investigation, writing and/or publication of this article.

The authors would like to thanks the students who participated in this study.

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