Young adolescents’ wellbeing and health-risk behaviours: gender and socio-economic differences

Publication type

Journal Article


Publication date

June 1, 2001


In this paper we use the 1994-1997 Youth Surveys of the British Household Panel Study to examine the wellbeing of young adolescents. We conceptualize wellbeing as a multi-dimensional construct and we develop and test models of gender and age differences. Using confirmatory factor analysis, we find clear gender differences in self-esteem, self-efficacy, unhappiness and worries. We confirm that wellbeing and some health-risk behaviours (fighting and smoking) are linked. We test models that examine how family structure, father's occupation, tenure, and household income, affect adolescent wellbeing. While socio-economic factors affect health-risk behaviours and also adolecents' reported worries, they have little impact on other aspects of youth wellbeing. The implications of these findings are discussed.

Published in

Journal of Adolescence


Volume: 24, 183-197




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