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National Study of Health and Wellbeing: Children and Young People

The 2020 survey aims to follow up parents, children and young people that took part in the 2017 survey. These children will now be aged 5 to 22. It will cover around 7,800 children and young people living in private households in England who gave their consent in the 2017 survey to be re-contacted.

The publication series includes links to the latest report and all previous reports published by NHS Digital. 

Interactive reports present time series data for common mental disorders. Three years of comparable data is available for 5 to 15-year olds living in England. 

The survey series is funded by the Department of Health and Social Care. The 2017 survey collected information to look at how common different kinds of health, developmental and emotional disorders are. We were interested in factors associated with good health, development and wellbeing, as well as the things associated with poor health, development and wellbeing.

The 2020 survey is a follow up of children and young people that took part in 2017 and gave their permission to be re-contacted. The information collected will help to understand changes in mental health, development and emotional disorders in time. The survey is also taking place during the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) and will provide valuable information about the impact of the pandemic, lockdown and school closures on children and young peoples’ wellbeing.

The survey asks about a range of topics to do with development, health and emotional wellbeing. The information will improve understanding of how different experiences can impact on health and wellbeing.  Over time, and for many different reasons, there can be changes in the health and wellbeing of both young adults and children. 

The first time this national survey was carried out was in 1999. Since then two more surveys have been commissioned in 2004 and 2017. Each survey year provides a new sample of children and young people and allows us to monitor trends over time. However, to create a greater understanding, we also follow up with children and young people from each survey year to understand changes.

The survey is being carried out by NatCen Social Research and the Office for National Statistics on behalf of NHS Digital.

The 2017 survey has been reviewed by an independent group of people called a Research Ethics Committee (REC), to protect the safety, rights, wellbeing and dignity of those taking part. The West London REC (reference 16/LO/0155) gave this survey a favourable opinion.

The 2020 follow up survey has been reviewed via correspondence by the National Statistician’s Data Ethics Advisory Committee (reference NSDEC(20)13) and was given a favourable outcome.   

For the 2017 survey we chose children and young people at random to make sure we get a truly representative picture of everyone in England. 

The 2020 survey is a follow up of children and young people that took part in the 2017 survey and agreed to be re-contacted.  

If you’ve received a letter asking you to take part, it's because either yourself or someone in your household took part in the 2017 survey and agreed to be re-contacted. 

Taking part is voluntary, and if you do take part you can answer as many or as few questions as you like. By taking part you will help the NHS, policymakers and charities make the right decisions for children and young people’s health and wellbeing during and after the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

If you're a parent/carer, the online questionnaire should take about 20 minutes to complete. It asks about a range of things about you and your child. These include general health and wellbeing and things about your current circumstances and life experiences during the coronavirus pandemic.

If your child is aged between 11 and 16 on 31 August 2020, after you have finished the questionnaire we will ask your child to also answer an online questionnaire. This should take about 10 minutes, and asks about their health and wellbeing, as well as their contact with family and friends and their experiences and thoughts during the coronavirus pandemic.

If you're aged between 17 and 22, the online questionnaire should take about 20 minutes to complete and asks about your health and wellbeing, as well as your current circumstances and your experiences and thoughts during the coronavirus pandemic.  

The 2020 follow up survey collects information about:

  • health
  • development and wellbeing
  • social media use
  • service use and available support
  • experiences during the coronavirus pandemic

The content of the 2020 survey was designed following consultation with various stakeholders, including Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England, Public Health England, Children’s Commissioner, Department of Education and academics and charities involved in mental health. 

Prior to the 2017 survey, a consultation for the survey content was conducted. Download the consultation report.

Your answers will be completely confidential and nobody can be identified from the results we publish - they are completely anonymous. 

The answers you give will be put together with the answers collected from thousands of other people across England and the answers you gave in 2017. The survey findings will be analysed anonymously. The statistics will be published in a report and tables which will be freely available on our website.

If you agree, we would like to link your responses to this survey to other data held about you by NHS Digital, Department for Education and the Office for National Statistics. This includes information that NHS Digital and the Office for National Statistics maintain on your NHS health record including in-patient/out-patient care, primary care, diagnostic care, mental health, cancer and records for when and the reason why people pass away. The Department of Education maintains information on your child’s education record, including educational achievement, absence, exclusions and special educational needs.   

This linkage allows research into how a person’s lifestyle and experiences can have an impact on their future health and education. By doing so, we can create evidence to inform decisions to improve services and policies which affect all children and families in England.

The data will be treated as confidential, as directed by the UK Statistics Authority's code of practice for official statistics.

An anonymised and reduced version of the dataset will be made, so your name, address, date of birth, and other information that might directly identify you is removed. In addition, other data are removed or categorised into groups that are less detailed to ensure the risk of disclosure is remote. This process of disclosure control follows Government Statistical Service guidance.

This anonymised and disclosure controlled dataset will be made available to national and local government and for the purposes of not-for-profit research. An anonymised version of the 1999 and 2004 data can be accessed by researchers on the UK Data Service Website. The 2017 data has not yet been made available to researchers. 

Last edited: 29 June 2020 2:46 pm