We have curated a list of groundbreaking research articles that provide increasing empirical evidence for the connection between relationships and student success, student well-being and teacher well-being, and much more.

Positive mental health and supportive school environments: A population-level longitudinal study of dispositional optimism and school relationships in early adolescence

Eva Oberl, Martin Guhna, Anne M.Gadermann, Kimberly Thomson, Kimberly A.Schonert-Reichl

Social Science & Medicine, Volume 214, October 2018, Pages 154-161


  • Positive relationships with peers and adults predicted early adolescents' optimism.

  • A positive social climate in schools predicted higher optimism in students.

  • Social school climate accounted for increases in optimism from 4th to 7th grade.

  • Positive social relational climate contributes to current and future mental health.

 Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2018.06.041

Is teachers’ mental health and wellbeing associated with students’ mental health and wellbeing?

Sarah Harding, Richard Morris, David Gunnell, Tamsin Ford, William Hollingworth, Kate Tilling, Rhiannon Evans, Sarah Bell, Jillian Grey, Rowan Brockman, Rona Campbell, Ricardo Araya, Simon Murphy, Judi Kidger

Journal of Affective Disorders, Volume 253, 15 June 2019, Pages 460-466


  • Better teacher well-being is associated with better student well-being and with lower student psychological difficulties.

  • Lower teacher depressive symptoms are associated with better student well-being.

  • Teacher presenteeism and the teacher-student relationship may be mediating factors in these relationships.

  • There is an association between teacher-student relationship quality, teacher presenteeism and teacher absence with student well-being and psychological distress.

Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2018.08.080

The relationships between school climate and adolescent mental health and wellbeing: A systematic literature review

Jill M. Aldridge and Katrina McChesney

International Journal of Educational Research, Volume 88, March 2018, Pages 121-145


  • There are important associations between the school climate and adolescents’ mental health.

  • School climate includes social connectedness, school safety, peer connectedness, academic environment.

  • Mental health includes positive and negative affective states and behaviours.

  • Research to date has not given equal attention to these sub-constructs or their interrelationships.

  • Future research needs clearer theoretical underpinnings and greater methodological diversity.

 Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijer.2018.01.012