Publication - Research and analysis

Factors affecting children’s mental health and wellbeing: findings

Published: 8 Jan 2020

Results from the 2015- 2017 Realigning Children's Services Wellbeing Surveys into factors effecting mental health and wellbeing amongst children and young people in Scotland.

56 page PDF

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56 page PDF

725.8 kB

Contents
Factors affecting children’s mental health and wellbeing: findings
6 Appendix Survey questions

56 page PDF

725.8 kB

6 Appendix Survey questions

Note: Questions were split into binary responses to identify more positive versus more negative experiences for that measure. For example, pupils who answered the family meals question with “hardly ever or never” were identified as having a potential risk factor of rarely sharing family meals. Pupils who gave any other answer (either “every day”, “4-6 days a week”, “2-3 days a week” or “once a week”) were identified as having the opposite potential protective factor of sharing family meals at least once a week. For the purposes of this analysis, these cut-offs allow for the comparison of outcomes for pupils with relatively more negative versus relatively more positive experiences.

6.1 Secondary school survey questions

i. Family

Survey question Response options Potential “risk factor” or “protective factor”
On how many days a week would you usually sit down to eat a main meal (at lunchtime or in the evening) with one or both of your parents or carers? Every day Protective factor

Family shares meals at least once a week
4-6 days a week
2-3 days a week
Once a week
Hardly ever or never Risk factor

Family rarely or never shares meals
Members of my family shout at each other a lot Strongly disagree Protective factor

Low family conflict
Tend to disagree
Neither agree nor disagree
Tend to agree Risk factor

High family conflict
Strongly agree
If you were really worried about something, how likely would you be to talk to a family member about it? Very likely Protective factor

Child would speak to family member if worried
Fairly likely
Not very likely Risk factor

Child would not speak to family member if worried
Not at all likely
I enjoy spending time with my family Strongly agree Protective factor

Child enjoys spending time with family
Tend to agree
Neither agree nor disagree Risk factor

Child does not enjoy spending time with family
Tend to disagree
Strongly disagree

ii. School

Survey question Response options Potential “risk factor” or “protective factor”
How often do you feel strained or pressured by the schoolwork you have to do? Never Protective factor

Child does not feel strained by schoolwork
Sometimes
A lot of the time Risk factor

Child feels strained by schoolwork a lot
How much do you like school at the moment? I like it a lot Protective factor

Child likes school
I like it a bit
I don’t like it very much Risk factor

Child does not like school
I don’t like it at all
My teachers care about me as a person Strongly agree Protective factor

Child feels that teachers care about them
Tend to agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Tend to disagree Risk factor

Child feels that teachers do not care about them
Strongly disagree
The pupils in my class(es) treat each other with respect Strongly agree Protective factor

Pupils respect each other
Tend to agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Tend to disagree Risk factor

Pupils do not respect each other
Strongly disagree

iii. Peer

Survey question Response options Potential “risk factor” or “protective factor”
Other pupils accept me as I am Strongly agree Protective factor

Other pupils accept child
Tend to agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Tend to disagree Risk factor

Other pupils do not accept child
Strongly disagree
In the last month, have other children or young people, either online/by phone or offline, done any of the following things…?

[see bottom of table*]
No – not at all Protective factor

Child does not experience bullying
Yes – online/by phone (at least one option selected) Risk factor

Child experiences bullying
Yes – offline (at least one option selected)
Have you felt that someone has treated you badly because of any of the following things about you?

[see bottom of table**]
None of these Protective factor

Child does not experience prejudice
Other children and young people have treated me badly because of… (at least one option selected) Risk factor

Child experiences prejudice
Adults have treated me badly because of… (at least one option selected)
How many close friends would you say you have? Three or more Protective factor

Child has multiple friends
Two
One Risk factor

Child has few or no friends
None

* Bullying options: Hit, kicked or punched you, taken your belongings or hurt or threatened you physically in some other way; Teased you in a mean way or called you hurtful names; Spread mean rumours or told lies about you, deliberately ignored you or excluded you from a group.

** Prejudice options: My accent; my gender; my age; my sexual orientation; a disability; my skin colour; the clothes I wear/the way I look; the language I speak at home; my family background; my nationality; my religion/faith/belief; other.

iv. Area

Survey question Response options Potential “risk factor” or “protective factor”
I feel safe being outside with my friends in this area Strongly agree Protective factor

Child feels safe in area
Tend to agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Tend to disagree Risk factor

Child does not feel safe in area
Strongly disagree
I could ask for help or a favour from neighbours Strongly agree Protective factor

High social support (could ask neighbours for help)
Tend to agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Tend to disagree Risk factor

Low social support (could not ask neighbours for help)
Strongly disagree
People say ‘hello’ and often stop to talk to each other in the street Strongly agree Protective factor

High social cohesion (people say ‘hello’ in the street)
Tend to agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Tend to disagree Risk factor

Low social cohesion (people do not say ‘hello’ in the street)
Strongly disagree
There is nothing for young people to do in this area Strongly disagree Protective factor

Things to do for young people in area
Tend to disagree
Neither agree nor disagree
Tend to agree Risk factor

Nothing to do for young people in area
Strongly agree

v. Health

Survey question Response options Potential “risk factor” or “protective factor”
How is your health in general?

Would you say it was…?
Very good Protective factor

Family shares meals at least once a week
Good
Fair
Bad Risk factor

Family rarely or never shares meals
Very bad
Over the past 7 days, on how many days were you physically active for a total of at least 60 minutes per day? 7 days Protective factor

Child is physically active at least once a week
6 days
5 days
4 days
3 days
2 days
1 day
0 day Risk factor

Child is rarely or never physically active

6.2 Primary school survey questions

i. Family

Survey question Response options Potential “risk factor” or “protective factor”
How often do you sit down at a table to eat a main meal with one or both of your parents? Every day Protective factor

Family shares meals at least sometimes
Most days
Some days
Rarely Risk factor

Family rarely or never shares meals
Never
How often are there are a lot of bad arguments or fights at home? Never Protective factor

Low family conflict
Sometimes
Often Risk factor

High family conflict
Always
How often do you enjoy being with your family? Always Protective factor

Child enjoys spending time with family
Often
Sometimes Risk factor

Child does not enjoy spending time with family
Never
Parent-child relationship:

Total score on four items from ‘People in My Life’ scale [see bottom of table*]
Higher than average score Protective factor

Good quality parent-child relationship
Roughly average score
Lower than average score Risk factor

Poor quality parent-child relationship

*Four items from People in My Life scale for parent-child relationship:

  • My parents can tell when I’m upset about something
  • I talk to my parents when I am having a problem
  • If my parents know that something is bothering me, they ask me about it
  • I share my thoughts and feelings with my parents

Each answered with:

(1) Never true

(2) Sometimes true

(3) Often true

(4) Always true

Total score of 4-16, where higher score indicates better quality parent-child relationship.

ii. School

Survey question Response options Potential “risk factor” or “protective factor”
How much do you worry about not doing well at school? A lot Protective factor

Child worried about schoolwork
Quite a lot
Not very much Risk factor

Child is not worried by schoolwork
Not at all
Teacher-child relationship:

Total score on three items [see bottom of table*]
Higher than average score Protective factor

Good quality teacher-child relationship
Roughly average score
Lower than average score Risk factor

Poor quality teacher-child relationship

*Three items for teacher-child relationship:

  • How often does your teacher help you when you need help?
  • How often do you get along well with your teacher?
  • How often do you get into trouble with the teachers at school?

Each answered with:

(1) Never

(2) Sometimes

(3) Often

(4) Always

Total score of 3-12, where higher score indicates better quality teacher-child relationship.

iii. Peer

Survey question Response options Potential “risk factor” or “protective factor”
Experience of bullying:

Total score on four items [see bottom of table*]
Lower than average score Protective factor

Low experience of bullying
Roughly average score
Higher than average score Risk factor

High experience of bullying
How often do you hit, kick or punch other children at you school?

How often are you mean to other children at school or call them hurtful names?
Never Protective factor

Child does not bully others (regularly)
Every few months
About once a month
About once a week (to either) Risk factor

Child bullies others (regularly)
Most days (to either)
How often are your friends nice to you? Always Protective factor

Friends are often nice to child
Often
Sometimes Risk factor

Friends are rarely nice to child
Never
How many close friends would you say you have? Three or more Protective factor

Child has multiple friends
Two
One Risk factor

Child has few or no friends
None

*Four items for experience of bullying:

How often do other children pick on you by…

  • … calling names or making fun of you in a way you don’t like?
  • … leaving you out of games and chats?
  • … shoving, pushing, hitting or picking a fight with you?
  • Sending emails, text messages or posting something online?

Each answered with:

(1) Never

(2) Every few months

(3) About once a month

(4) About once a week

(5) Most days

Total score of 4-20, where higher score indicates higher experience of bullying.

iv. Area

Survey question Response options Potential “risk factor” or “protective factor”
How much do you like the area you live in? A lot Protective factor

Child likes area
Quite a lot
A little Risk factor

Child does not like area
Not at all
Are there other* places near where you live where you can play outdoors?

*other than a garden
Yes – lots Protective factor

Some outdoor space to play in area
Yes – some
No Risk factor

No outdoor space to play in area

v. Health

Survey question Response options Potential “risk factor” or “protective factor”
How is your health in general?

Would you say it was…?
Very good Protective factor

Family shares meals at least once a week
Good
Fair
Bad Risk factor

Family rarely or never shares meals
Very bad
How often do you spend time being active? Every day Protective factor

Child is physically active at least sometimes
Most days
Some days
Rarely Risk factor

Child is rarely or never physically active
Never

Contact

Email: franca.macleod@gov.scot