Secondary school-aged pupils in Scotland - mental wellbeing, relationships and social media: report

This report outlines findings from a survey of 1,361 pupils from 50 secondary local authority schools in Scotland. The pupils completed the survey between 8th February and 2nd April 2021, and responded to questions about their mental wellbeing, relationships and social media use.

This document is part of a collection


1 Young People in Scotland Survey | Ipsos MORI

2 While pupils in school years S1 to S6 (inclusive) completed the YPIS survey, the previous SALSUS and HBSC surveys only recruited samples of pupils in S2 (roughly 13 years old) and S4 (roughly 15 years old). As such, only the S2 and S4 participants in the YPIS survey are considered when comparing the survey's findings with the findings from the SALSUS and HBSC surveys.

3 1% (n=11) of pupils did not indicate where they completed the survey

4 The majority of participants who indicated their ethnic background selected 'White – Scottish', and the majority of participants indicating their religious background selected 'None'. Due to the small sample sizes in the remaining ethnic and religious background categories presented in the survey, and problems involved in meaningfully grouping ethnic and religious backgrounds, the findings relating to ethnic and religious background are not presented in this report.

5 The SALSUS and HBSC survey samples were statistically weighted in a similar way to the YPIS survey. However, slightly different factors were used for the weighting (e.g., SALSUS also weighted for school sector), which affects the comparability of the results across these surveys.

6 Participants were able to indicate their gender identity in a way other than female or male. However, due to the small number of participants selecting this option (n=36), findings for this group are not presented in this report.

7 Participants reported whether or not they had 'a physical or mental health condition, illness or disability lasting or expected to last 12 months or more'.

8 Collect, score, analyse and interpret WEMWBS (

9 The mean WEMWBS score reported in HBSC 2018 (47.1) was highly comparable to the score reported in SALSUS 2018 (46.9). To be consistent with 2015, the SALSUS 2018 score is used for the comparison presented.

10 Due to overlap between the school year and age characteristics, the findings are only presented for school year.

11 Differences presented in this report are statistically significant at a 95% confidence level. Statistical significance is not intended to imply substantive importance.

12 Data limitations meant that it was not possible to compare those pupils with and without caring responsibilities regarding the quantity of sleep they reported.



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