Aim: to investigate the relationship between children’s psychological well-being and breakfast club engagement in Irish primary schools.
Design: Quantitative method with a correlational design and regression analysis.
Method: 142 parents and teachers were used. The questionnaires included the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire as a dimensional measure of psychological well-being (Goodman and Goodman, 2009).
Results: Correlation analysis between the overall Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) of psychological well-being levels and breakfast club engagement factors revealed a significant positive correlation between overall SDQ psychological well-being scores and levels of attendance at the breakfast club, making healthy food choices, enjoy attending at the club, pay or get it free, attend with siblings and or friends and take part in academic activities. The hierarchical multiple regression models found a high attendance at a breakfast club tended to be strongly predictive of overall SDQ psychological well-being scores. Other results found how making healthy food choices and enjoyment at the breakfast club were common predictors of overall SDQ psychological well-being. This followed a similar pattern on the subscales, the peer relationship problems scale, the emotional symptoms scale, the hyperactivity / inattention scale, the conduct problems scale and the prosocial behaviour scale. Paying for breakfast club was a predictor on the peer relationship problems scale and unhealthy eating was a predictor on the prosocial behaviour scale. Also, fifth and sixth class children reported significantly higher levels of overall SDQ psychological well-being compared to junior and senior infant children.