Mental Health and Wellbeing of Secondary Age Pupils

  • Michael Waite

Student thesis: Doctor of Educational and Child Psychology


The prevalence rates of mental health and wellbeing difficulties experienced by children and young people (CYP) are increasing. Schools are considered well positioned to identify and support CYP’s mental health and wellbeing needs. This thesis appraises potential outcome measures for use in schools and explores the extent to which secondary age pupils report their mental health and wellbeing needs are met using the Human Givens framework. The first paper describes a systematic review of mental health and wellbeing outcome measures included in the Measuring and Monitoring Children and Young People’s Mental Wellbeing Toolkit for schools (MaMCYPMWT) (Deighton, et al. 2016). The second paper is a quantitative study of secondary age pupils’ (n=816) mental health and wellbeing. The pupils completed an online questionnaire incorporating the Short Moods and Feelings Questionnaire (SMFQ) and the Human Givens Emotional Needs Audit (ENA). The Good Childhood Index (GHI), KIDSCREEN-27, Stirling Children’s Wellbeing Scale (SCWS) and the Warwick and Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMBS) were identified as having potential utility for use in schools. Prevalence rates of mental health and wellbeing difficulties were observed to increase with age. Emotional needs, as measured in the ENA, were found to moderately correlation with total scores on the SMFQ The GHI, KIDSCREEN-27, SCWS and WEMBS can be considered to align well with the NICE conceptualisation of mental health and wellbeing, have good psychometric properties and implementation characteristics. The ENA may provide further insight into factors contributing to CYP’s experience of mental health and wellbeing and possible areas for intervention by schools.
Date of Award31 Dec 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorCatharine Atkinson (Supervisor) & Catherine Kelly (Supervisor)


  • secondary age
  • school
  • wellbeing
  • adolescent
  • mental health

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