If I asked you what makes a child happy, one possible answer would be the opposite of what makes them sad. This would be considered a non-controversial response. The intuitive assumption when considering subjective wellbeing and psychological distress is that factors associated with one are associated with the other – albeit in the opposite direction. But what if we’re wrong? What if wellbeing and mental illness, or happy and sad, are not two sides of the same mental health coin?
We set out to investigate this question using data from more than 12,000 children born across the UK in 2000-01 who are taking part in the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS). Our (more…)
A few mischievous children acting out in a classroom and disrupting an entire lesson is a common scenario that teachers deal with. However, trouble-making children who hit out and misbehave are not only disruptive to teachers and classrooms, they are also likely to get lower grades.
In recent research, my colleagues and I examined the links between the development of problem behaviour in 5,400 children between the ages of eight and 11 from 138 primary schools in England. The children were in Years 4, 5 and 6 – the last three years of primary school and what’s called Key Stage 2. We found that those who developed disruptive behaviour in these three “middle childhood” years did worse in the tests, also known as SATs, at the end of Year 6.
The problem behaviours we looked at in our study were when children got angry, hit out, broke things, hurt people or lost their (more…)