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January 2020

Adolescent Mental Health and Educational Outcomes in Early Adulthood

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Intro

How important is adolescents’ mental health to the future educational outcomes for boys and girls? The report examines the relationship between adolescent mental health and subsequent educational outcomes in early adulthood. We are particularly interested in educational outcomes in early adulthood because the educational attainment at the end of compulsory education in the UK is a significant transitioning stage for young people determining their future labour market participation.

Using 8 waves of Understanding Society (2009-17) data we scrutinize the effect of adolescents’ wellbeing on their A level (equivalent) attainment at 18 years of age. 681 boys and 785 girls are measured on their wellbeing levels from the age of 10 onwards to 17 years. Girls have poorer mental health and wellbeing than boys at all these ages but girls generally outperform boys in A-level qualification attainment. It is thus not clear how or if wellbeing impacts educational attainment. So, this research considers if the wellbeing-education performance link is any different for boys and girls.

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Findings

Practical implications of the research findings

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