Predicting wellbeing

Publication type



Jenny Chanfreau, Cheryl Lloyd, Christos Byron, Caireen Roberts, Rachel Craig, Danielle De Feo and Sally McManus

Publication date


This report was commissioned by the Department of Health to identify what factors predict high levels of wellbeing among:
• young children
• young people
• adults across the life course
• men and women separately.
Not only is a high level of wellbeing a positive end in itself, it also predicts living a longer and more healthy life.
Potential policy impact
For a long time both social research and social policy have focused on counting and avoiding negative outcomes, rather than measuring and developing positive assets. This study's focus on the predictors of positive wellbeing is designed to inform policy across the Department of Health, Public Health England, and beyond. It is being published alongside the launch of a major new Change4Life campaign, which draws on this study's findings.
To carry out secondary analyses, we drew on data from the:
• Millennium Cohort Study (MCS),
• Understanding Society (USoc), and the
• Health Survey for England (HSE)
A wide array of factors - spanning most aspects of life - were tested as potential predictors of subjective wellbeing.


Well Being, Social Capital and Health



Used as a basis for Public Health England 'How healthy behaviour supports children’s wellbeing'-

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