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The issues affecting young people in Wales today

The results of the 2017/18 HBSC survey in Wales have been published in a new report, launched in collaboration with the School Health Research Network, on May 22nd.

The report offers new insights on the experiences and challenges faced by young people – on topics including health, social media use, school work and alcohol consumption.

Although much work has been done to successfully promote health and wellbeing in Welsh schools, the latest results from the 2017/18 HBSC survey demonstrate that there are key areas where schools and students need further support and guidance. 

The survey, conducted biennially in Wales, gathered data from more than 100,000 children attending secondary schools in 2017/18. This equates to 65% of the secondary school population in Wales.

Key findings from the report include:

  • One in five young people reported that they have fair or poor health. Most adolescents were positive about their current health, with 25% reporting that they are experiencing excellent health and 53% experiencing good health.

  • Nearly one third of pupils (31%) reported irritability or sleep issues.

  • The survey revealed 15% of year 7 students looked at an electronic screen after 11pm on a school night; nearly half (46%) of year 11 students said they did so.

  • Twenty percent of females were classified as ‘problematic social media’ users (as measured by the social media disorder scale), compared to 15% of males.

  • More than 80% of adolescents reported that they felt some degree of pressure from their school work with nearly one quarter (24%) reporting ‘a lot’ of pressure, but this was strongly related to age. The proportion of adolescents reporting ‘some’ or ‘a lot’ of pressure more than doubled from year seven to year 11.

  • Sixteen percent of adolescents identified themselves as having a caring responsibility for someone in their family as a result of them being disabled, physically or mentally unwell or having a problem with alcohol or drugs. Of these young carers, one-quarter reported that they looked after more than one person, representing 4% of all adolescents.

  • Nearly all (94%) sexually active adolescents had first had sex below the age of consent, although the most frequently cited age at first sex was 15 years old (45%). Overall, 20% of sexually active adolescents reported they had first had sex at age 13 years or younger, although the proportion was higher among males compared to females (24% and 16% respectively) and among those from the least affluent households (25%).

  • Almost half of adolescents (48%) reported that they do not drink alcohol and a further 44% said they drink less than weekly.

see here for further details

item 5544
[10-06-2019 to 31-10-2019]


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