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Investigating whether Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) data can be used to investigate factors affecting mental health and wellbeing of young people in Wales.

The report uses a number of variables within the MCS dataset to consider three measures of various aspects of well-being.

  • Measure of happiness with life as a whole; subjective wellbeing.
  • Measure of depressive symptoms.
  • Measure of emotional and behavioural difficulties.

The report finds  quality of family relationships and experiences of being bullied are key factors.

  • Quality of family relationships and frequency of being bullied emerged as the strongest predictors of all three measures of wellbeing.
  • Quality of family relationships was the most important factor predicting life satisfaction and emotional and behavioural difficulties. There was a strong association between being bullied and higher depressive symptoms.
  • Children who were very heavy social media users had higher depressive symptoms and lower life satisfaction. Light to moderate use of social media is not linked with lower child well-being and it may also have benefits.
  • There are varying links between family socio-economic factors and child wellbeing.
  • There are important links between parental mental health and child wellbeing.

The report recognises the potential for further use of the MCS dataset. This includes  the next release of data when the participants will be 17 years old, which will provide crucial understanding of well-being at a key transitional stage.


Top-line analysis and feasibility study on mental health and well-being using Millennium Cohort Study data , file type: PDF, file size: 1 MB

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David Roberts

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