Social and emotional health (SEH) aims to promote academic success and create school well-being. SEH has not been studied in Vietnam. This article focused on exploring the SEH of Vietnamese high school students because of the high-risk level in mental health that appeared in this group. The study was carried out using a qualitative case study approach to interviewing 74 students, 12 teachers, 7 school administrators, and 4 school counselors. We interpreted four features of SEH's expression of Vietnamese students: (1) Confident but lack of individual perspectives, (2) Respectful but lack of listening and empathy in school relationships, (3) Balanced but lack of authentic perception of emotions and effective emotional management, (4) Satisfied but lack of sustainability and action. This study has broadened our understanding of external behaviours and current limitations in the young people’s SEH from their perspectives in a developing Southeast Asian country to promote positive psychological development in school-based prevention programs.


belief-in-self, belief-in-others, case study, emotional competence, engaged living, social and emotional health

Author Bio(s)

Thien-Vu Giang (https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6536-0707) is a Ph.D. in Psychology of Psychology Department, Ho Chi Minh City University of Education, Vietnam. His areas of research include school psychology, educational psychology, adolescent mental health, and qualitative studies. Correspondence concerning to this paper should be addressed to vugt@hcmue.edu.vn

Van-Son Huynh (https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3314-4329) is a Professor of Psychology of Psychology Department, Ho Chi Minh City University of Education, Vietnam. He is interested in educational psychology, education, educational management, public mental health, quantitative, and qualitative studies.

My-Hanh Mai (https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3469-1949) is a Master of Psychology and currently studying Ph.D. candidate of Psychology in Ho Chi Minh City University of Education, Vietnam. Her research fields include educational psychology, moral psychology, behavior psychology, and content analysis.


This study was funded by the National Foundation for Science and Technology Development (NAFOSTED) under project No.501.01-2020.301.

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