Wellbeing and happiness linked to age, report finds

A major new report from the DfE into children's wellbeing has found that the majority of children between 10 and 24 are 'happy' with their lives.

84.9% of children (10-15 years) report being relatively happy with their lives, but five per cent report being relatively unhappy. Similarly for young people(16-24 years), 82.9% report high or very high satisfaction with their lives, but three per cent report low life satisfaction

Survey participants rated themselves happiest with their family and friends, their health, their school and their appearance. Bullying, including cyberbullying, remains a key reason for unhappiness or poor wellbeing, especially among teenage girls, while sleep and leisure time were also reported as important factors.

The landmark research fulfils a government commitment to bring together the best evidence on children and young people’s wellbeing, identifying trends and drivers so that the right support is in place to help them fulfil their potential.

The report found that age was a clear factor of wellbeing: being older was associated with lower wellbeing.

Teenage girl's health was looked into in depth. It found that psychological health was poorer for girls than boys of the same age, but declined over adolescence for both boys and girls. This emphasises the importance of understanding teenage girls’ experiences, but also points to the need to recognise that boys face a similar decline in their psychological health through mid to late adolescence.

Experiences of being bullied, including online bullying, was the risk factor most strongly associated with psychological health throughout mid to late adolescence. However, bullying was less important when girls were older. Combined with other evidence, this suggests that bullying is unlikely to be the sole driver of teenage girls’ poorer psychological health in later adolescence.

Education Secretary visited Chosen Hill School in Cheltenham, one of the 1,600 schools which volunteered to begin delivering the government’s new Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) before it becomes compulsory in all secondary schools from September 2020. Relationships education and health education will also become compulsory from primary school age.

The new RSHE curriculum is designed to equip children early-on with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their wellbeing, health and relationships, as well as preparing them for adul

Read more