Young people

Home life, school work, friends, family, plans for the future. Understanding Society asks young people aged 10-15 about their life experiences, health and wellbeing.

Understanding Society covers everyone in a household, so we ask questions about children and young people,as well as the adults. All young people aged 10 - 15 complete their own questionnaire and adults are asked about the children in their care. Exploring what young people think and do helps us understand life choices and the challenges of growing up in the UK in the 21st century.

Professor Ingrid Schoon

Champion for Youth

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What information does Understanding Society collect from young people? 

The young people's part of Understanding Society is a self-completion questionnaire which is completed confidentially once a young person's parent or carer has give permission for them to be part of the survey.  The questionnaire asks them about their family relationships and home life, about how they see themselves as a person and how they feel about different aspects of their life. We ask about their school life, homework, any paid jobs that they have and their plans for the future. Also included are questions on their health and wellbeing. 

You can find the youth questionnaire here. 

When a young person becomes aged 16 they move onto the adult survey. 

What about younger children? 

Parents or carers answer questions in the adult survey on the younger children in their care. Questions ask about parenting style, child development, child care and their children's health. 

What impact does social media have on young people? 

Dr Cara Booker talks about her research which uses the youth questionnaire.


Update on our consultation on the Youth Questionnaire

In 2015 we reviewed what we include in the Youth Questionnaire and asked users and stakeholders to suggest improvements. You can read the report on the consultation here. 


Research using youth and young adult data in Understanding Society


Working paper: Data quality in the Understanding Society youth self-completion questionnaire

This paper explores some questions about the determinants and nature of response quality in self-completion surveys of young people. 

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