Health literacy and mental health of school principals. Results from a German cross-sectional survey

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Health literacy and mental health of school principals. Results from a German cross-sectional survey. / Dadaczynski, Kevin; Kotarski, Claudia; Rathmann, Katharina; Okan, Orkan.

In: Health Education, Vol. 122, No. 3, 22.03.2022, p. 350-363.

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@article{90991cd8ca114bd5af31e3f62a5c3674,
title = "Health literacy and mental health of school principals. Results from a German cross-sectional survey",
abstract = "Purpose: School principals are generally seen as key facilitators for the delivery and long-term implementation of activities on school health promotion, including health literacy. However, there is little evidence on the health literacy and health status of this occupational group. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the health literacy of school principals and its association with mental health indicators. Design/methodology/approach: A cross-sectional online survey with German school principals and members of the management board (vice principals) was conducted (n = 680, 68.3% female). Demographic (gender, age) and work characteristics (type of school, professional role) as well as health literacy served as independent variables. Mental health as a dependent variable included well-being, emotional exhaustion and psychosomatic complaints. Next to uni- and bivariate analysis, a series of binary logistic regression models was performed. Findings: Of the respondents, 29.2% showed a limited health literacy with significant differences to the disadvantage of male principals. With regard to mental health, respondents aged over 60 years and those from schools for children with special educational needs were less often affected by low well-being as well as frequent emotional exhaustion and psychosomatic complaints. Taking into account demographic and work characteristics, regression models revealed significant associations between a low level of health literacy and poor mental health across all indicators. Research limitations/implications: The cross-sectional nature of this study does not allow to draw conclusions about the causal pathways between health literacy and mental health. Although the sample has been weighted, the results cannot be generalized to the whole population of school principals. There is a need for evidence-based interventions aiming at promoting health literacy and mental health tailored to the needs of school principals. Originality/value: This is the first study to investigate health literacy and its association with health indicators among school principals.",
keywords = "Emotional exhaustion, Health literacy, Health promoting school, Psychosomatic complaints, School principals, Well-being, Health sciences",
author = "Kevin Dadaczynski and Claudia Kotarski and Katharina Rathmann and Orkan Okan",
year = "2022",
month = mar,
day = "22",
doi = "10.1108/HE-10-2020-0094",
language = "English",
volume = "122",
pages = "350--363",
journal = "Health Education",
issn = "0965-4283",
publisher = "Emerald Publishing Limited",
number = "3",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Health literacy and mental health of school principals. Results from a German cross-sectional survey

AU - Dadaczynski, Kevin

AU - Kotarski, Claudia

AU - Rathmann, Katharina

AU - Okan, Orkan

PY - 2022/3/22

Y1 - 2022/3/22

N2 - Purpose: School principals are generally seen as key facilitators for the delivery and long-term implementation of activities on school health promotion, including health literacy. However, there is little evidence on the health literacy and health status of this occupational group. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the health literacy of school principals and its association with mental health indicators. Design/methodology/approach: A cross-sectional online survey with German school principals and members of the management board (vice principals) was conducted (n = 680, 68.3% female). Demographic (gender, age) and work characteristics (type of school, professional role) as well as health literacy served as independent variables. Mental health as a dependent variable included well-being, emotional exhaustion and psychosomatic complaints. Next to uni- and bivariate analysis, a series of binary logistic regression models was performed. Findings: Of the respondents, 29.2% showed a limited health literacy with significant differences to the disadvantage of male principals. With regard to mental health, respondents aged over 60 years and those from schools for children with special educational needs were less often affected by low well-being as well as frequent emotional exhaustion and psychosomatic complaints. Taking into account demographic and work characteristics, regression models revealed significant associations between a low level of health literacy and poor mental health across all indicators. Research limitations/implications: The cross-sectional nature of this study does not allow to draw conclusions about the causal pathways between health literacy and mental health. Although the sample has been weighted, the results cannot be generalized to the whole population of school principals. There is a need for evidence-based interventions aiming at promoting health literacy and mental health tailored to the needs of school principals. Originality/value: This is the first study to investigate health literacy and its association with health indicators among school principals.

AB - Purpose: School principals are generally seen as key facilitators for the delivery and long-term implementation of activities on school health promotion, including health literacy. However, there is little evidence on the health literacy and health status of this occupational group. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the health literacy of school principals and its association with mental health indicators. Design/methodology/approach: A cross-sectional online survey with German school principals and members of the management board (vice principals) was conducted (n = 680, 68.3% female). Demographic (gender, age) and work characteristics (type of school, professional role) as well as health literacy served as independent variables. Mental health as a dependent variable included well-being, emotional exhaustion and psychosomatic complaints. Next to uni- and bivariate analysis, a series of binary logistic regression models was performed. Findings: Of the respondents, 29.2% showed a limited health literacy with significant differences to the disadvantage of male principals. With regard to mental health, respondents aged over 60 years and those from schools for children with special educational needs were less often affected by low well-being as well as frequent emotional exhaustion and psychosomatic complaints. Taking into account demographic and work characteristics, regression models revealed significant associations between a low level of health literacy and poor mental health across all indicators. Research limitations/implications: The cross-sectional nature of this study does not allow to draw conclusions about the causal pathways between health literacy and mental health. Although the sample has been weighted, the results cannot be generalized to the whole population of school principals. There is a need for evidence-based interventions aiming at promoting health literacy and mental health tailored to the needs of school principals. Originality/value: This is the first study to investigate health literacy and its association with health indicators among school principals.

KW - Emotional exhaustion

KW - Health literacy

KW - Health promoting school

KW - Psychosomatic complaints

KW - School principals

KW - Well-being

KW - Health sciences

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85102492566&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1108/HE-10-2020-0094

DO - 10.1108/HE-10-2020-0094

M3 - Journal articles

AN - SCOPUS:85102492566

VL - 122

SP - 350

EP - 363

JO - Health Education

JF - Health Education

SN - 0965-4283

IS - 3

ER -

DOI