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Youth Wellbeing In UK Ranked Very Low


Tuesday, April 28th, 2009 Youth Wellbeing In UK Ranked Very Low

Twenty nine European states have collated and published data with regards to young people’s wellbeing. EU plus Norway and Iceland - has ranked the UK 24th according to a BBC report (20 04 09).

It was established that the Netherlands came top. Whereas Romania, Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania and Malta came lower than the UK.

The study was conducted and recordered at York University concerning youngsters up to 19 years of age on behalf of the charity Child Poverty Action Group. However, it has to be stated that the evidence was based on data dating back to 2006.

With that in mind the government have stated that it’s policies have indeed lifted more children out of poverty.

It has been disclosed that researchers have used 43 variants in compiling this report from infant mortality and obesity to material resources - like poverty and housing. Thus it can be argued that the research was indeed comprehensive.

In addition the research also included how children felt about their lives, schools and relationships.

Feeling pressured by schoolwork, for example, fed into the measurement of “subjective wellbeing”.

The study suggests little improvement since a similar report by Unicef two years ago, BBC correspondent James Westhead said.

The Netherlands led overall and was also in the upper third of the table in each area. Scandinavian countries dominated.

Moreover in another recent article by the BBC (19 04 09) the recession was key in some children’s lives and top of their fear list.

Children are increasingly worried about the credit crunch and the threat of crime, a new BBC survey has found.

Some 61% said they had been affected by the downturn. More than 40% said their parents were worried about money - up from 30% in the first survey in 2007.

Getting stabbed or shot was the biggest fear for 14% of nine to 12-year-olds.

CBBC and Newsround researchers carried out 1,000 face-to-face interviews with boys and girls, aged six to 12, across the UK.

The survey found that concern about the recession and global economy had replaced the more optimistic outlook reflected in the first study back in 2007.

Moreover, Eighty-six percent of children said they would be willing to give up something - such as sweets or pocket money - to help their families cope with the worsening economic climate.

One in five said they were fed up with hearing about the credit crunch but, despite the gloomy economic backdrop, 75% said they thought their childhood was better than the childhood experienced by their parents.

Fear of crime prompted one in four children to say they would sometimes avoid going out alone and 15% said they would hide their valuables.

Notwithstanding, Feeling pressured by schoolwork, for example, fed into the measurement of “subjective wellbeing”.

The study suggests little improvement since a similar report by Unicef two years ago, BBC correspondent James Westhead said.

The Netherlands led overall and was also in the upper third of the table in each area. Scandinavian countries dominated.

On material resources, the UK was 24th out of the 26 countries for which data was available.

“The UK position is particularly influenced by the high number of children living in families where no parent works. Only Lithuania and Poland do worse,” said the report.

CPAG is not arguing against government policy focusing on income growth for the poorest families and the impact of public services.

But it says the current recession means many families are threatened with rapid income falls.

“There is nothing inevitable about the UK doing badly on child wellbeing,” it says.

“The challenge should be to reverse this situation and put children front and centre of policy making.”

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