Organizational justice at school and its associations with pupils' psychosocial school environment, health, and wellbeing.Soc Sci Med. 2011 Dec; 73(12):1675-82.SS
It has been shown that the psychosocial environment perceived by school staff is associated with children's academic performance and wellbeing. In this study we examined the associations between organizational justice (procedural and relational justice) as reported by school staff and pupils' perceptions of their school environment, health problems, academic performance, and absenteeism. We combined data from two surveys: for the staff (the Finnish Public Sector Study, n = 1946) and pupils (the Finnish school health promotion survey, n = 11,781 boys and 12,842 girls) of 136 secondary schools, collected during 2004-2005. Multilevel cumulative logistic regression analyses showed that after adjustment for potential individual and school-level confounding factors, low procedural justice was associated with pupils' dissatisfaction with school-going. Low relational justice was associated with a 1.30 times higher risk of poor academic performance, 1.15 times higher risk of psychosomatic symptoms and 1.13 times higher risk of depressive symptoms among pupils. Both organizational justice components were associated with truancy. We concluded that staff perceptions of organizational justice at school are associated with pupils' reports of their psychosocial school environment, health, performance, and absenteeism due to truancy. Improving managerial and decision making procedures among school personnel may be an important factor for protecting pupils' academic performance and wellbeing.