Spotlight on adolescent health and well-being
A new report from the international Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study published by the WHO Regional Office for Europe on the health and social behaviours of schoolchildren aged 11, 13 and 15, from 45 countries, shows that adolescent mental well-being declined in many countries between 2014 and 2018. The “Spotlight on adolescent health and well-being” shows that mental well-being declines as children grow older, with girls particularly at risk of having poor mental well-being outcomes compared to boys. One in four adolescents report feeling nervous, feeling irritable or having difficulties getting to sleep at least once per week. The report shows substantial variation in mental well-being across countries. This indicates that cultural, policy and economic factors may play a role in fostering good mental well-being. In around a third of countries, the report revealed a rise in adolescents feeling pressured by schoolwork and a decline in young people reporting to like school, compared with 2014. In most countries school experience worsens with age, with school satisfaction and adolescents’ perception of support from teachers and classmates declining as schoolwork pressure increases.