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Youth Wellbeing Prevalence Survey

Professor Gavin Davidson is one of the co-authors of a landmark report outlining the results of the Youth Wellbeing Prevalence Survey in Northern Ireland (NI) commissioned by the Health and Social Care Board. The research team was led by Lisa Bunting in a partnership with Ulster University, Queen’s University Belfast and the Mental Health Foundation. The study collected data from more than 3,000 children and young people in NI, and on more than 2,800 parents and carers. The findings show that 12.6% of children and young people in NI experience common mood disorders such as anxiety and depression, which is around 25% higher than other UK jurisdictions. Exposure to family trauma and adversity, poor child health and disability, having special educational needs, living in a household in receipt of social security benefits and parental mental ill health, were the strongest predictors for having a common mood or anxiety disorder. Older children, in particular older teenage females, had the highest rates of anxiety and depression. However, rates were also high for young boys aged 5-10 years old. There were also positive findings with levels of pro-social behaviour being considerably higher in NI than in other UK nations.