Welsh Government health and wellbeing measures for children

Welsh Government uses Understanding Society data to monitor the mental wellbeing of children.


The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2005 aims to improve the social, economic and cultural wellbeing of Wales. The Act created a legal duty on Welsh ministers to set national indicators to monitor progress. One of the national indicators relies on data from Understanding Society.

This national indicator is the mean mental wellbeing score for children in Wales. The data is from the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, which is a measure of mental health. This measure forms part of the youth self-completion questionnaire that is asked of children aged 10-15 living in an Understanding Society household.

Findings from the research

The research found that the mean mental wellbeing score was fairly stable over the three measurement points (2009-10, 2011-12 and 2013-14) for children in Wales. Further, the mental wellbeing scores for children in Wales were not statistically significant from the UK average; this means that the mental wellbeing of children in Wales is the same as children living across the UK.

Whilst around three-quarters of children in Wales have a mental wellbeing score that is deemed close to average, 13 per cent of children in Wales had a score deemed very high, which could indicate emotional or behavioural difficulties. This compared to a UK average of nine per cent of children aged 10-15 having very high scores.

Further information

The Health and well-being measure for children (2017) statistical bulletin is available via Statistics for Wales.

This summary contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.