Experiencing Life Events and Childhood Subjective Wellbeing: A Longitudinal Analysis of Growing Up in Scotland

The findings of this report are not valid due to an error in the analysis. If you require further information, please email the Growing Up in Scotland mailbox at: GUS@gov.scot.


Across three of the four health and wellbeing outcomes explored in the analysis, girls were found to be more likely to experience a deterioration in the outcome as opposed to remaining constant. The finding that girls are more likely to have negative wellbeing outcomes compared with boys is consistent with the existing literature (Caspi and Elder 1988, Schmeige et al. 2006) which indicates that girls are more susceptible to adverse effects following significant life events. Girls were more likely to experience deteriorating life satisfaction, mental health and physical health with the only outcome in which this was not the case being changes in BMI, where girls were more likely to experience their BMI staying the same over time.

Life events in general were found to be the most influential for mental health compared with the other health and wellbeing outcomes examined. In terms of the three life events examined in the analysis, parental separation was found to be the most influential on children's outcomes. For subjective wellbeing, mental health and physical health, the most influential effect was observed for parental separation which was both consistent across the models and statistically significant. This finding is consistent with previous literature which has observed greater emotional problems in children who experienced parental separation compared with those who experienced other significant life events such as bereavement (Behere et al. 2017).


Email: gus@gov.scot

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