Browsing by Subject "koulumenestys"

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  • Ronkainen, Inka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Aims. The aim of the study is to find out what kind of expectancies and values 7 th graders hold in phenomenon-based learning, mathematics, physics and Finnish language. Subjective task values, which are intrinsic value, utility value and attainment value, have been studied a extensively, but phenomenon-based learning is a new perspective in this research field, as it only became established in Finnish schools with the latest curriculum. Subjective expectancies, values, self-efficacy and costs influence adolescents’ performance and school related choices. The study uses expectation value theory applying person-oriented approach. This research answers three research questions: 1) What kind of motivational profiles can be identified in phenomenon-based learning, mathematics, science and Finnish language among middle school students based on expectancies and values? 2) How is the gender distributed in the identified profile groups? 3) Do the identified profile groups differ in terms of school performance? Methods. The data used in the study was collected with an electronic questionnaire, which was answered by 1013 7th grade students from Helsinki. The first research question was studied using latent profile analysis. The second research question was examined by cross-tabulation and the third was examined by one-way analysis of variance. Results and conclusions. Using the profile analysis, five different profile groups were identified from the respondents: phenomenon-oriented (23%), motivated and well-being (24%), weakly motivated (15%), motivated but loaded (16%) and science-oriented (26%). Phenomenon-oriented students were more interested in phenomenon-based learning than in other subjects, although they also considered traditional subjects important. Motivated and well-being were interested and felt competent in all subjects; they were not burdened by studies. Weakly motivated did not value any of the subjects and the study was perceived as burdensome and challenging. Motivated but loaded students hold high attainment value across subject domains but they also showed high cost value. Science-oriented students hold high interest value in mathematics and physics but low interest in phenomenon-based learning. The results were in line with the previous study, but phenomenon-oriented were identified as a new group. Girls were more evenly distributed in all profile groups, while the percentage of boys was clearly lower in phenomenon-oriented group compared to girls. School performance were lower in weakly motivated students compared to other groups.
  • Halonen, Mikko (Helsingfors universitet, 2015)
    The purpose of this study was to research connection between physical condition and school success. Connection between physical condition and math grades was also measured. This is a case study and the material was collected from one secondary school in Helsinki during the school year 2010–2011. The study involves altogether 62 boys and 40 girls from the ninth grade. Physical condition was measured by Cooper-test which is used internationally. School success was measured by calculating the mean of pupils grades from theoretical subjects. Success in mathematics was measured by the grades of diplomas. The material of the study was collected confidentially with the administrational staff of the school and two physical education teacher in the end of the year. The purpose of the study is to find out connections between these variables, compare them and try to find out differences between sex. Good wellness and good shape is known to increase the quality of life and well-being. The theoretical part of this study closely looks at the concepts of physical condition, physical education, evaluation and succeeding in school. There was no connection between physical stamina and school success or physical stamina and success in mathematics in this study. The results from the cross table didn't show any strong or moderate connection. The reason that there was no connection found could be that the sample was small. Also the location of the school might cause some differences because the results might be different in the other parts of Finland. This study should be continued by long distance study and compare the results between different locations in Finland.
  • Eronen, Kaisa (Helsingfors universitet, 2014)
    Temperament is known to be connected with students' school achievement, both academic achievement and school adjustment. In the Finnish school system, school adjustment can be measured by behavior grade. Equal rating is important for students' future education choices. Rating has also influence on students' self-image. In this study, the aim was to examine the connection between self-rated temperament traits and GPA (grade point average) and behavior grade. Also, the possible mediator effect of behavior grade between the connection of temperament traits and behavior grade was examined. The participants of this study were Finnish adolescents (n=4255, average age 15,1). Students evaluated their temperament traits with TABC-R and DOTS-R questionnaires. School achievement was evaluated with student's latest GPA and behavior grade. The connection between grades and temperament traits were examined with correlational analysis and regression analysis. Mediator effect between temperament and GPA was examined with Bootstrapping analysis. The connection was slightly different between GPA and behavior grade. The strongest connection with behavior grade had traits associated with school adjustment, such as impulsivity and negative emotionality. The strongest connection with GPA had traits associated with task orientation, such as persistence and distractibility. Behavior grade mediated the effect between temperament traits and GPA, especially for impulsivity, distractibility, negative emotionality and mood. These results confirm that teachers' ratings are connected with students' temperament, also when evaluating students behavior. Temperament is connected with grades both directly and medially. In future when developing student evaluation criteria, it is important that teachers are aware of the possible influence of temperament traits. The necessity of rating students' behavior with a grade should be discussed. The criteria of evaluating students' behavior at school should be clear, so that assessing temperament traits would be avoided.
  • Jaalas, Anni (Helsingfors universitet, 2016)
    Introduction. Cognitive performance and school engagement have been shown to affect school performance from childhood through adolescence to adulthood. Higher working memory performance and attentional skills can predict success in many different school subjects, such as math, English and science. Individual differences in executive attention have also been shown to predict the length of education from childhood to adulthood. Studies have also shown that motivational characteristics such as school engagement can predict school achievements and the years of schooling attained. Only a few studies have tried to investigate the joint effects that cognitive skills and motivational characteristics have on school performance. This study aims to examine how cognitive skills (working memory and attention) and school engagement jointly affect school performance in Finnish adolescent students. One aim was also to find out if school engagement mediates the connection between cognitive performance and school performance. Methods. The current study included 105 volunteering adolescents (53 females) who participated in the Mind the Gap (2012 – 2016) study that was funded by the Academy of Finland. The study included two age groups: 13–14 year olds (n=50) and 16–17 year olds (n=55). Participants performed tasks that measured working memory performance and executive attention and they filled out a questionnaire that included the school engagement inventory. School achievement was evaluated with both official grades and students self-assessed grades. Structural equation modelling was used to analyze the relationships between the examined variables. Results and conclusions. The study showed that both cognitive performance and school engagement predicted school performance. Especially the connections between self-assessed grades and cognitive performance and school engagement were more significant than connections with official grades. This study did not find a significant relationship between cognitive performance and school engagement, which means that there was no significant mediation between cognitive performance, school engagement and school performance. This study provides further scientific evidence that cognitive performance and school engagement both affect school performance. Even though cognitive skills and school engagement were not significantly related in this study, it would be important to conduct more research on this topic in the future.
  • Partanen, Eeva (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Tavoitteet. Tutkimuksen tavoite oli tutkia nuorten kouluminäpystyvyyden kehitystä yläasteen aikana ja selvittää, miten se on yhteydessä myönteiseen suhtautumiseen opettajaan ja kouluun, oppimisvaikeuksiin sekä koulumenestykseen. Kouluminäpystyvyys, eli uskomukset omista taidoista ja suoriutumisesta suhteessa kouluun, on aiemman tutkimuksen mukaan merkittävä tekijä koulussa siksi, että se tukee haasteisiin tarttumista lisäämällä motivaatiota, on positiivisesti yhteydessä koulumenestyksen kanssa ja voi olla merkittävä tekijä jatkokouluttautumisen kannalta. Aiemman tutkimuksen mukaan kouluminäpystyvyyden taso laskee loivasti yläasteen aikana. Menetelmät. Aineisto kerättiin osana Mind the Gap -hanketta vuosina 2014-2016. Osallistujat (7-lk N=1318, 9-lk N=884) asuivat eräässä suuressa pääkaupunkiseudun kaupungissa. Minäpystyvyyttä mitattiin suhteessa kuuteen eri oppiaineeseen. Myönteistä suhtautumista opettajaan ja kouluun sekä oppimisvaikeuksia mitattiin Terveyden ja hyvinvoinnin laitoksen Kouluterveyskyselyn väittämillä. Kaikkia väittämiä arvioitiin Likert-asteikolla. Koulumenestystä mitattiin Opetushallituksen rekisteristä haetuilla arvosanoilla. Käytin parittaista t-testiä tutkiakseni, muuttuiko minäpystyvyyden taso yläasteen aikana. Analysoin regressioanalyysillä, selittivätkö opettajaan ja kouluun suhtautuminen sekä itseraportoidut oppimisvaikeudet kou-luminäpystyvyyden tasoa sekä sitä, miten minäpystyvyys oli yhteydessä arvosanoihin. Tulokset ja johtopäätökset. Minäpystyvyyden taso oli kohtalaisen korkea yläasteen alussa ja yleinen kouluminäpystyvyys pysyi tasaisena yläasteen aikana. Oppiainekohtainen minäpystyvyys oli 7-luokalla korkeinta taito- ja taideaineissa ja matalinta fysiikassa ja järjestys sen suhteen, kuinka voimakasta minäpystyvyyttä oppiaineissa koettiin, säilyi samana yläasteen aikana. Minäpystyvyyden taso vieraiden kielten ja matematiikan osalta pysyi samana, kun taas äidinkielessä tai suomessa toisena kielenä, fysiikassa sekä biologiassa minäpystyvyyden taso kasvoi ja taito- ja taideaineissa se puolestaan laski. Myönteinen suhtautuminen opettajaan ja kouluun oli yhteydessä yläasteen alussa ja lopussa korkeampaan kouluminäpystyvyyteen, kun taas itseraportoidut oppimisvaikeudet olivat yhteydessä matalampaan kouluminäpystyvyyteen. Kouluminäpystyvyyden ja koulumenestyksen välillä havaittiin positiivisia yhteyksiä, jopa silloin kun aiempi menestys otettiin huomioon ja tämä päti erityisesti matematiikan osalta. Pro gradu -työ on osittain ristiriidassa aiemman tutkimuksen kanssa siitä, että kouluminäpystyvyys laskisi, mutta tukee aiempia tutkimuksia muilta osin ja vahvistaa käsitystä siitä, että korkea minäpystyvyys on merkittävä koulumenestystä tukeva ilmiö.
  • Lappalainen, Hanna (Helsingfors universitet, 2009)
    The objective of this study was to find factors that could predict educational dropout. Dropout risk was assessed against pupil's cognitive competence, success in school, and personal beliefs regarding self and parents, while taking into account the pupil's background and gender. Based on earlier research, an assumption was made that a pupil's gender, success in school, and parent's education would be related with dropping out. This study is part of a project funded by the Academy of Finland and led by Professor Jarkko Hautamäki. The project aims to use longitudinal study to assess the development of pupils' skills in learning to learn. The target group of this study consisted all Finnish speaking ninth graders of a municipality in Southern Finland. There were in total 1534 pupils, of which 809 were girls and 725 boys. The assessment of learning to learn skills was performed about ninth graders in spring 2004. "Opiopi" test material was used in the assessment, consisting of cognitive tests and questions measuring beliefs. At the same time, pupils' background information was collected together with their self-reported average grade of all school subjects. During spring 2009, the pupils' joint application data from years 2004 and 2005 was collected from the Finnish joint application registers. The data were analyzed using quantitative methods assisted by the SPSS for Windows computer software. Analysis was conducted through statistical indices, differences in grade averages, multilevel model, multivariate analysis of variance, and logistic regression analysis. Based on earlier research, dropouts were defined as pupils that had not been admitted to or had not applied to second degree education under the joint application system. Using this definition, 157 students in the target group were classified as dropouts (10 % of the target group): 88 girls and 69 boys. The study showed that the school does not affect the drop-out risk but the school class explains 7,5 % of variation in dropout risk. Among girls, dropping out is predicted by a poor average grade, a lack of beliefs supporting learning, and an unrealistic primary choice in joint application system compared to one's success in school. Among boys, a poor average grade, unrealistic choices in joint application system, and the belief of parent's low appreciation of education were related to dropout risk.
  • Tähtinen, Emmi (Helsingfors universitet, 2014)
    Objectives This study aimed to examine the motivation of 8th and 9th graders' towards school and sport in a sports oriented class. It also developed a scale that is reliable when used among Finnish young athletes based on SAMSAQ-scale (Gaston-Gayles, 2005). Previous studies have shown that even Finnish young top athletes don't move enough to succeed at the international level. Started in 1990s, the sports oriented classes try to support young athletes to combine studies and sports because the age of 14–15 is crucial for the future plans. This study examined is the current system an optimal solution to support both studies and active sports. It also examined the structure of motivation, how motivated young students are in the different parts of motivation and how the different backgrounds are related to students' motivation. Methods The study was a quantitative one. Material was collected in November-December 2011 from the 8th and 9th graders in sports oriented classes. 221 young students from Helsinki answered to the questionnaire which included the Motivation scale and some background questions. The answers were analyzed by using PASW Statistics 18. Analysis methods used included correlations, Factor Analysis, t-tests and Analysis of Variance. Results and conclusions The scale used in this study didn't work the way presumed and some of the variables had to be removed. The fourth factor, which didn't exist in the original scale, was created. The motivation scale needs to be developed and researched more. Students in sports oriented classes were highly motivated towards sports, towards studies the motivation was little lower. Motivation towards athletic career and competition was clearly lower. Gender, the amount of training and competition were related to part of the students' motivation. Studying in sports oriented class seems to support especially athletes of team sports. Combining the practicing of one sport, other exercises and studies is a complex question. All of the sports oriented classes are doing important job finding an optimal solutions for that.
  • Karlsson, Tomi (Helsingfors universitet, 2016)
    Targets. The study examined the educational choices of upper secondary school students. It focused on the educational choices of upper secondary school second-year students, factors influencing those choices, and their connection to a student's background information (parents' education, gender, school achievements). Furthermore, adolescents' readiness to make educational choices was examined as well how high their educational goals were set and whether education had instrumental or intrinsic value for the. The rational choice theory emphasizing an individual's own choice (Elster 1989) and the reproduction theory emphasizing the influence of social structures on educational choice-making (Bourdieu 1986;1995;1998) formed the theoretical background of the study. Methods. 111 second-year students from seven upper secondary schools in the capital region participated in the study. Research data was collected by an electronic questionnaire. This quantitative study was examined by using statistical methods. The data was analysed with statistical analysis program SPSS. The data was evaluated by using factor analysis, cross tabulation, chi-square test, t-test, the Kruskall-Wallis Test, Crobach's alpha, the nonparametric Mann-Whitney U test, and descriptive statistics. Results and conclusions. It was concluded in the study that four factors have an impact on educational choices, the most important of which were the variables depicting personal interest. In this study background information had no connection to the argumentation concerning the educational choices. The study showed that an upper secondary school steers an adolescent's educational goals strongly towards academic studies and university. The parents' education or gender had no relevance on educational level goals whereas school achievements had an impact on educational choices. The better the school achievements, the more likely the student applied for a university. The study indicated that the upper secondary school students' readiness to make educational choices at the end of their second school year is not sufficient yet.
  • Laurila, Eveliina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Goals. Violence is a significant problem in society, thus it is important to recognize its predisposing factors. Psychopathy has been identified as one of the factors that significantly increases the risk for violent behaviour. The core characteristics of psychopathy include manipulation, the absence of feelings of remorse and guiltiness, as well as the inability for empathy. Other factors that may increase the risk of violent behaviour have also been identified, but it is unclear whether these factors retain their effects regardless of the level of psychopathy. In order to prevent the violent behaviour in psychopathic adolescents it is important to identify the factors that increase the risk of violent behaviour and alter the association between psychopathy and violence. The factors regarding family, such as monitoring and the quality of relationship between the parent and the child, have been surveyed to some extent. Some of the results are promising. Neither the socioeconomic status nor performance in school has been surveyed before but it is possible that these factors decrease the risk of violent behaviour. The goal for this study is to examine whether monitoring, good parent-child relationship, good socioeconomic status and good school performance decrease the risk of violent behaviour regardless of the level of psychopathy. In addition, the study examines whether these factors alter the association between psychopathy and violence. Methods. The survey sample is a part of Juvenile Delinquency in Finland 2012 –dataset which is a nationally representative self-report survey. The sample consists of 4855 ninth grade students who completed the survey anonymously online during a school day. Logistic regression analysis was used to examine the study questions. Results and conclusions. Monitoring, good parent-child relationship, and good school performance was discovered to reduce the risk of violent behaviour regardless the level of psychopathy. In addition, these factors as well as socioeconomic status altered the association between psychopathy and violence. According to the results the association between psychopathy and violence is weaker in the case of good socioeconomic status than in low socioeconomic status. This result is promising and can indicate that with financial wealth a psychopathic adolescent is less likely to utilize violence to achieve their goals. Furthermore, the results concerning monitoring, good parent-child relationship and good school performance give hope to the notion that these factors may reduce the risk of violence even in adolescents with psychopathic traits. However, more research is needed to make solid conclusions.
  • Flinck, Anna-Sofia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    The aim of this study was to find out whether grit and physical activity have connections to academic achievement and whether gender is relevant in these contexts. Previous studies have shown that grit and physical activity are associated with better school performance. However, the relationships between the two have not yet been studied very extensively. Studying and exercising both require grit to succeed. The core of grit is persistent practice and maintaining goals (Duckworth et. al., 2007). It is possible to practice such skills through exercise. The aim is to examine whether grit or physical activity can increase academic achievement in adolescents as individual factors or by acting together. The data was part of the Mind the gap -project funded by the Academy of Finland. The data was collected in the 7th grade (n = 1310) in 2014 and in the 3rd grade of high school (n = 751) in 2019. Respondents filled questionnaires that included a GRIT-S- scale to determine grit and a separate question about physical activity. In addition, ninth grade grades and high school diploma grades obtained from the official register of the City of Helsinki and the Matriculation Examination Board, were used to measure academic achievement. The relationships between physical activity, grit, and academic achievement were examined by linear regression analysis. In addition, interaction terms were included in the regression analysis to examine the interactions between different factors. The results of the study showed that physical activity and grit together did not explain academic achievement. However, these factors were associated with academic achievement when examined separately. There were differences in results between ninth graders and high school students. Grit was a factor that influenced academic achievement in both high school students and ninth graders. Physical activity did not explain academic achievement as much as expected. Physical activity explained academic achievement poorly in ninth graders and in high school women. As for the case of high school men, physical activity was associated with lower grades. In conclusion developing grit could lead to better academic achievement.
  • Poikela, Teresa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The subject for this Master’s thesis is to study how gender is produced in opinion pieces that deal with PISA results for boys and girls. The opinion pieces compared PISA results for boys and girls and from these comparisons various conclusions were drawn on differences between girls and boys in relation to schooling. In this thesis, gender is understood as socially, contextually and culturally constructive. The following research questions were set: 1) What kind of gender discourses are being produced in opinion pieces that deal with PISA results? 2) How do these discourses define gender? Social constructionism, discourse analysis and feminist theory’s critical perspective towards gender guided the analysis of the research material. The research materials used were the opinion pieces which dealt with girls’ and boys’ PISA results, school achievements and schooling, published in Aamulehti and Helsingin Sanomat between 2010-2017. From the research material nine (9) gender discourses were formed. The discourses were named as: worry discourse, boys’ impaired proficiency discourse, threatening future discourse, gender struggle in school discourse, need for gender identification opportunities discourse, the achievers and school favourites discourse, far from school discourse, permitted boyhood discourse, and gendered practises and frameworks discourse. Worry for the boys was central in discussions. Constructing and maintaining polarity and differentiation was a central way of producing gender. Gender was defined as dichotomic, hierarchic and framed by internal unity and, thus, by divergence between the girl and boy groups. In relation to schooling, boys were described as distant, uninterested and unappreciative. It was emphasised in the discussion that pedagogy should be changed to better fit boys’ needs. Girls, on the other hand, were described as successful and having a positive attitude towards their education. In addition to the gender perspective in regard to discussing school achievements and schooling of boys and girls, it would be beneficial to pay attention to other gender-related factors, such as immigrant background and social class, and their importance to school achievements and schooling.
  • Kouhia, Miia (Helsingfors universitet, 2017)
    The purpose of this study was to find out if there is a relative age effect on school success and learning to learn skills in the Finnish school system. In addition, this study aims to find out if the possible differences in school success and learning to learn skills lead to differences in the academic self-concept and differences in the teachers and the parents' beliefs about child's possibility to succeed at school. The data of this study is a part of learning to learn data collected by the Centre of Educational Assessment (the University of Helsinki). The participants of the study were children and their teachers and parents in one school grade in all elementary schools in the city of Vantaa, including Finnish and international schools. This longitudinal data has been collected in the years 2010, 2013 and 2016, when the pupils were first-, third- and sixth-graders. The pupils (N=2569) part consisted of learning to learn assignments in the all grade. They answered beliefs and attitude questions in the third and the sixth grade additionally. The part of the teachers and parents consisted of the background questions and propositions of the children's learning and social skills. The data was analyzed with SPSS Statistic 24 program. Used analysis methods were Spearman correlation coefficient, Chi square and cross tabulation, Kruskal-Wallis test and Linear regression analysis. According to this study date of birth affects both school success and learning to learn skills in first, third and sixth school grade. The differences are the biggest at the beginning of school and decrease during the years. The relative oldest pupils also have a little bit higher attainment in mathematics and Finnish language and they were more able in part of learning to learn task than the youngest peers in the sixth grade. The relative youngest pupils have more special education needs than their older peers. Although relative age had an effect to educational attainment and learning to learn skills, it does not affect academic self-concept.
  • Pyyhtiä, Anne (Helsingfors universitet, 2015)
    The aim of the present study was to examine what kinds of achievement goal orientation profiles can be identified among sixth-graders and how students with different profiles differ with respect to their education-related personal goals and goal appraisals as well as their academic achievement. Usually researchers have adopted a variable-centred approach and investigated interactions between variables but this study adopted a person-centred approach, which enables the investigation of multiple goals simultaneously. The data used in this study were drawn from the Mind the Gap -research project (2013-2017), funded by the Academy of Finland. The participants were 761 sixth grade students from 32 schools. Utilizing K-means cluster analysis, groups of students with different motivational profiles were identified. The open-ended answers concerning students' education-related personal goals were analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Group differences in goal appraisals and academic achievement were examined by means of analysis of variance (ANOVA). Four different achievement goal orientation profiles were found and they were labelled as: indifferent, mastery-oriented, success-oriented and avoidance-oriented. Indifferent students were aware of the importance of school but they were also characterized by avoidance tendencies. Mastery-oriented students predominantly emphasized learning and strove for self-improvement. Success-oriented students aimed for both relative (i.e., outperforming others) and absolute (i.e., getting good grades) success, but they also wanted to learn. Finally, avoidance-oriented students were the least motivated towards schoolwork. The mastery-oriented and success-oriented students had the highest academic achievement and they were most committed and used most time and effort to their educational goals. Indifferent and success-oriented students were more stressed about their educational goals than mastery-oriented students. These results support the idea that schools should recognize and pay attention to differently motivated students. For example, avoidance-oriented students need more aid and support in school engagement than others. Furthermore, success-oriented students need encouragement to study for themselves than others. Also, schools should be aware of that performance-oriented learning environment may increase the social comparison and competition behaviors which may impair motivation.
  • Palmumäki, Pyry (Helsingfors universitet, 2014)
    The aim of this study was to explore post-secondary school education (i.e. tenth grade) students' conceptions of the main goals of the tenth grade, actualized contents in the tenth grade and role of the tenth grade in the Finnish educational system. In this study there were also examined the motivational as well as contextual factors that had influenced the student's educational selection. Further, this study aimed to unravel perspectives that would help in improving secondary- and supplementary school education to prevent educational exclusion and school drop out after post-secondary school. Qualitative data was gathered by using theme interview. Interviews were conducted in early 2014, at a preselected time and location in a secondary school in Helsinki. The participants were 8 students attending a tenth grade. The structure of interview was allowed to develop individually during the interview process, which is typical for theme based interviews. The collected data was analyzed relying on a theory grounded qualitative content analysis. The results of the study indicated that tenth grade was seen as a part of Finnish educational system, aim of which is to prevent educational exclusion by implementing educationally and personally meaningful contents in practice. The participants decisions to apply for the tenth grade was influenced by both motivational and contextual factors. The analysis of motivational factors revealed that the participants emphasized reflecting his/hers future as a result of that reflection being motivated to apply and participate in supplementary education. Contextual factors were emphasized as being supportive and clarifying components regarding the participants educational choices. Especially student counselling was seen as being an effective factor in making educational choices. According to the findings, one reason for the risk of school drop-out was a negative image of self as a pupil. Regarding the participants, that image changed positively during the tenth grade. That change appeared to have had a positive effect also to one's conceptions about school and studying. The result of this study brings valuable knowledge of tenth and of the factor related to educational exclusion. Understanding and recognizing these factors better, helps in developing our educational system to be better able to face and eliminate issues which cause educational exclusion.
  • Salovaara, Sini (Helsingfors universitet, 2006)
    Johdanto: Ruoan laadullisilla valinnoilla ja ateriarytmillä on mahdollista edistää tai heikentää lasten ja nuorten oppimista. Esimerkiksi verensokerinvaihtelun on todettu vaikuttavan kognitioon ja käyttäytymiseen (Benton 2002, Bellisle 2004). Säännöllisen ateriarytmin on katsottu edistävän koulumenestystä (Hye-Young ym. 2003). Yhä useammalta suomalaisnuorilta aamupala jää väliin (Räsänen 2004). Vain 13 % syö kouluaterian kokonaisuudessaan: pääruokaa, salaattia, leipää ja maitoa (Urho ja Hasunen 2004). Virvoitusjuoma- ja makeisautomaatteja on nykyisin monissa yläkouluissa, varsinaista välipalatarjoilua vain harvoissa. Tavoite: Tässä pro gradu -työssä tutkittiin yläkoululaisten ruokailua ja ateriarytmiä kouluviikon aikana sekä näiden mahdollista yhteyttä koulumenestykseen. Selvityksen tavoite oli tuottaa taustatietoa ja hypoteeseja jatkotutkimusta varten. Aineisto ja menetelmä: Tämä työ oli kvantitatiivinen poikkileikkaustutkimus, joka suoritettiin internet-pohjaisella kyselylomakkeella helmikuussa 2006. Selvitykseen osallistui 881 yläkoululaista yhdeksästä koulusta seitsemältä paikkakunnalta ympäri Suomea. Tulokset: Reilu kolmas nuorista ilmoitti jättävänsä yleensä yhden tai kaksi päivän ateriaa väliin. Aamupala jää väliin joka kuudennelta. Joka kolmas syö koululounaan enintään kolme kertaa viikossa. Nuorten koululounas on yksipuolistunut: pääruoan, leivän ja maidon nauttiminen lounaalla on vähentynyt verrattuna aikaisempiin tutkimuksiin (Urho ja Hasunen 1999, 2004). Suurin osa nuorten välipaloista oli terveellistä perusruokaa, lähinnä leipää, maitoa, mehua ja leivänpäällisiä. Poikkeuksen tekivät koulupäivän aikana nautitut välipalat. Nuorten yleisimmät koulupäivän aikaiset välipalat olivat makeiset ja virvoitusjuomat. Välipalat hankittiin useimmiten koulun automaateista tai koulun ulkopuolella sijaitsevasta kaupasta, kioskista tai huoltoasemalta. Kouluissa, jossa oli välipalatarjontaa, nuoret ostivat harvemmin makeisia ja virvoitusjuomia. Nuoret itse pitivät välipalatarjoilua ja vesipisteitä automaatteja ja kioskia tarpeellisempana kouluympäristössä. Lähes kaikki nuoret (89 %) ilmoittivat kärsineensä oireista kuten vatsakivuista, päänsärystä, huonosta olosta, ärtyisyydestä ja jännityksestä viimeisen viikon aikana. Yleisimpiä oireita olivat väsymys ja ärtyneisyys. Joka viides ilmoitti olevansa yleensä suurimman osan koulupäivää väsynyt, suurin osa ainakin jossain vaiheessa päivää. Ateriarytmin säännöllisyys ja kouluruokailu sekä elintavat kuten nukkuminen ja koettu terveyden tila olivat tilastollisesti merkitsevästi yhteydessä kuvattuihin oireisiin sekä koulumenestykseen. Tytöillä myös liikunnan harrastaminen ja aamupalan syöminen olivat tilastollisesti merkitsevästi yhteydessä koulumenestykseen. Johtopäätökset: Nuoret tekevät yhä useammin itsenäisesti valintoja ruoan ja ateriarytminsä suhteen. Kun nuoret ruokailevat yksin, mallioppimisen edut ja ravitsemussuositukset saattavat jäädä saavuttamatta. Koululounaan sisällön yksipuolistuminen, koulupäivän aikaisen välipalan laatu ja ateriatyyppien päällekkäisyys saattavat olla seurausta tästä. Säännöllinen ateriarytmi ja kouluruokailu olivat merkitsevästi yhteydessä sekä koulumenestykseen että stressinkaltaisten oireiden määrään.