Dampness and student-reported social climate : two multilevel mediation models
Finell, E., Tolvanen, A., Pekkanen, J., Ståhl, T., & Luopa, P. (2021). Dampness and student-reported social climate : two multilevel mediation models. Environmental Health, 20, Article 30. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12940-021-00710-5
Published inEnvironmental Health
© 2021 the Authors
Background Little previous research has analysed the relationship between schools’ indoor air problems and schools’ social climate. In this study, we analysed a) whether observed mould and dampness in a school building relates to students’ perceptions of school climate (i.e. teacher-student relationships and class spirit) and b) whether reported subjective indoor air quality (IAQ) at the school level mediates this relationship. Methods The data analysed was created by merging two nationwide data sets: survey data from students, including information on subjective IAQ (N = 25,101 students), and data from schools, including information on mould and dampness in school buildings (N = 222). The data was analysed using multilevel mediational models. Results After the background variables were adjusted, schools’ observed mould and dampness was not significantly related to neither student-perceived teacher-student relationships nor class spirit. However, our mediational models showed that there were significant indirect effects from schools’ observed mould and dampness to outcome variables via school-level subjective IAQ: a) in schools with mould and dampness, students reported significantly poorer subjective IAQ (standardised β = 0.34, p < 0.001) than in schools without; b) the worse the subjective IAQ at school level, the worse the student-reported teacher-student relationships (β = 0.31, p = 0.001) and class spirit (β = 0.25, p = 0.006). Conclusions Problems in a school’s indoor environment may impair the school’s social climate to the degree that such problems decrease the school’s perceived IAQ. ...
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Additional information about fundingThe data analyses and manuscript preparation were funded by the Academy of Finland (323125).
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