Transitions to secondary school: An exploration of the impact on primary school graduates’ well-being and occupational performance
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Children today are presenting higher levels of anxiety than ever before as symptoms are commonly under-recognised and often under-treated. It is the most common mental health illness reported by children and young people in Scotland. Transition to secondary school has been deemed as a critical turning point which alters early adolescents’ behaviours and their physical, cognitive and psychosocial development. The complexity of changes associated with anxiety and school transition from primary to secondary poses a number of issues in regards to children’s occupations, including: poor participation, engagement and performance. Poor student participation can impact upon a child’s motivation, self-esteem, concentration, academic achievement and social aspects of school. Occupational therapists are expert health professionals with a proficient knowledge base in participation in every occupation, therefore they can provide a unique perspective on this topic. In the form of a literature review, literature focusing on anxiety and the impact it plays during secondary school transition was explored. The aim of the literature was to uncover how anxiety symptoms (non-clinical) can affect students’ occupational participation and performance levels during secondary school transition. Themes and sub-themes have been explored, identified and discussed in relation to this topic. A research proposal will be delineated as evidence from the literature review. The proposed research uses a qualitative method in order to explore the perspectives and expectations of primary school graduates’ transition to secondary school and the impact on their well-being and occupational performance. Possible limitations are discussed within this research alongside future recommendations.