International comparative evidence on wellbeing shows that Scotland performs well for younger children, but its relative performance declines substantially during adolescence. Its ranking slips from near the top for 11 year olds to near the bottom for 15 year olds across 42 OECD countries. Of particular concern are issues around relationships, mental health and pressures of life, bullying, drug use, activity levels and inequalities.
One of the drivers of negative wellbeing in adolescence according to evidence is young people's perceptions of themselves. They feel that they are often perceived negatively and not valued by their families and society, and this, in turn, negatively impacts upon their self-perception and confidence and acts as a barrier to positive outcomes. This is recognised by policy actions seeking to increase positive attitudes towards young people and to enhance young people's engagement in decision making.