Family functioning, student quality of school life and their opinions about the future

Year: 1997

Author: Perry, Graeme, Bourke, Sid

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper reports on the data from a study of about 2000 high school students from 19 government and non-government schools. Students sampled from years seven, nine and eleven completed questionnaires to measure their quality of school life, family function and feelings and perceptions of the future. Multilevel analyses have been undertaken placing students at level 1, school year at level 2 and schools at level 3. This paper focuses on the relationship between family function, quality of school life and opinions about the future.

Family functioning was described through three factors, Intimacy, Parenting Style and Conflict. Intimacy was a measure of closeness and communication within a family. Democratic, negotiating parenting skills were compared to authoritarian, fixed parenting demands by the parenting style dimension. Through the Quality of School Life questionnaire students reported on their school experience with respect to general satisfaction and negative affect, as well as specific measures of status, teacher interaction, identity, opportunity and achievement. Family Intimacy contributed to all aspects of quality of school life, while parenting style and family conflict were important to specific measures. Negative affect towards school, perceived status and opportunity are important direct contributors to opinions about the future environment, technology and personal success. Family function variables contribute indirectly to these opinions about the future.