Loneliness and wellbeing in schools

Loneliness and wellbeing in schools

Loneliness is a key public health issue for young people due to its known negative effects on wellbeing. We recently conducted a study to investigate associations between adolescents’ loneliness and mental health, and how these associations might differ between schools. To do this we used data from the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study in Scotland. We found that higher loneliness was associated with poorer mental health. We also found that the school a young person attends can impact on their mental health. This variation in mental health was greater among adolescents with higher levels of loneliness. Also, loneliness is more detrimental to mental health in schools with lower average mental health scores. These findings highlight the vital role that schools can play in shaping young people's mental health. Our study also suggests that it is especially important to target interventions to support mental health towards adolescents who are most likely to be lonely, and that programmes aimed at reducing loneliness may be most beneficial in schools where mental health is likely to be low. This work is currently under peer review. Though we have other research available https://osf.io/preprints/socarxiv/3f8bt, https://osf.io/preprints/socarxiv/ns2te ) which highlights the importance of strong community ties in protecting against loneliness, and that where you live can impact on your level of loneliness


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