Rationale and Methods of the ‘Northern Ireland Youth Wellbeing Survey’ and Initial Findings from the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire

Lisa Bunting, Claire McCartan, Gavin Davidson, Anne Grant, C Mulholland, Dirk Schubotz, Orla McBride, Jamie Murphy, M Shevlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
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Backgrounds and Aims: The Northern Ireland Youth Wellbeing Survey (NIYWS) was commissioned by the Health and Social Care Board (NI) with the aim of providing reliable prevalence estimates of the mental health problems of children and young people aged 2–19 years.
Method: The NIYWS used a random probability design, stratified by deprivation decile and county, to ensure even geographical distribution and representation. The survey used a broad range of validated measures to identify children and young people who met established clinical criteria for common mood, anxiety and behaviour disorders, trauma related disorders, as well as those at risk of autism spectrum disorder, eating disorders, future psychotic illness, self-injury or suicide.
Results: Data were collected on 3074 children and young people aged 2–19 years, as well as over 2800 parents. The survey achieved a high response rate (67%) and initial findings indicated that 11% of the sample were at risk of emotional or behavioural problems.
Conclusions: The NIYWS was the first large scale nationally representative survey of the mental health of children and young people in NI. Despite the legacy of political violence the initial findings show comparable levels of emotional and behavioural problems to England.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)670-685
Number of pages16
Journal Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Issue number3
Early online date1 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by the Health and Social Care Board, Northern Ireland.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.


  • children and young people
  • Mental health
  • Northern Ireland
  • Northern Ireland youth wellbeing survey
  • prevalence
  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Humans
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Self-Injurious Behavior/epidemiology
  • Mental Health
  • Adolescent
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Child
  • Northern Ireland/epidemiology


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