Overview

Summary

  • 20% of girls and 9% of boys in Glasgow report having low self-esteem.
  • 18% of schoolchildren in Glasgow report that they have been bullied in the last year.
  • Over 20% of pupils report that they have been treated in an offensive way in the last year, with the most common reason being their age.
  • Over three-quarters of secondary schoolchildren in Glasgow report that they worry about something, with exams being the most common reason.
  • The majority of secondary schoolchildren in Glasgow plan to go into further education after finishing school, although this proportion is higher in girls than boys.

Wellbeing has been described by the Child Poverty Action Group as referring to the quality of children’s lives. There is evidence that the wellbeing of children and young people in the UK is poor compared to our international counterparts. In 2007 UNICEF placed the UK last out of 21 developed countries in an assessment of child wellbeing. These negative findings were also echoed by a Barnado’s report from the same year which placed Scotland 22nd out of 24, with the UK in 16th position. Pressure on family time and a greater consumer culture have recently been suggested by UNICEF as possible explanations of this reduced wellbeing. It has also been suggested by Pickett and Wilkinson that large differences between rich and poor could be making child wellbeing in the UK worse.

Both the UNICEF and Barnado’s reports measured wellbeing across a range of domains, such as material wellbeing, family and peer relationships and health. Much of the information presented elsewhere in this site fits into these categories and is therefore also relevant to child wellbeing. The high levels of inequality, poverty, lower educational attainment, and certain poor health outcomes described in other sections of the site would suggest that child wellbeing in Glasgow is likely to be poor, and perhaps worse than in Scotland as a whole. However, Levin has suggested that child wellbeing in Glasgow may in fact be better than in the rest of Scotland.

This section is designed to complement the rest of the site by providing information on issues such as psycho-social functioning (psychological functioning in a social setting), self-esteem, bullying, worries, aspirations and language development, which are not presented elsewhere.

Psycho-social functioning can be measured using a screening tool called Goodman's Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). The SDQ is included in the Schools Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey (SALSUS), which is carried out among S2 and S4 pupils every other year. Since 2010, staff in nurseries funded by Glasgow City Council have also been completing the SDQ for children in their pre-school year.

Self-esteem can be measured by asking children and young people to answer a set of specially designed questions. Measures of self-esteem indicate that one-fifth of girls in secondary school in Glasgow have low self-esteem; the proportion is lower in boys (9%).  

Being bullied or treated in an offensive way is a fairly common experience for secondary school children in Glasgow. 20% of girls and 16% of boys report that they have been bullied in the last year. A slightly higher proportion report that they have been treated in an offensive way in the last year. The most common reported reason for this was their age, followed by their ethnic background.

Most schoolchildren in Glasgow worry about at least one thing, with exams being the most common cause for their worry. The future and their appearance were also common reasons for worrying.

Most schoolchildren in Glasgow plan to go into further education after they leave school, with only a very small proportion expecting that they will be unemployed.

In Glasgow, children's language development is assessed by the health visitor in partnership with the parent/carer using the Sure Start Language Measure – Revised (SSLM_R) - parents are asked if their child can say 50 words from a list of common words. Being able to say less than 32 words is suggestive of communication delay. Three additional questions inquire about comprehension, stammering or stumbling over words.

The resources section contains a selection of links to related information and publications.  The government's approach to children and young people and relevant local reports are contained within targets and strategies. Notes on the data are also provided alongside links to the data sources.

Access further information relating to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and health inequalities on the Health Scotland website.