Enhancing Well-Being in Youth

Positive Psychology Interventions for Education in Britain

Authored by: Carmel Proctor

Handbook of Positive Psychology in Schools

Print publication date:  March  2014
Online publication date:  February  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415621854
eBook ISBN: 9780203106525
Adobe ISBN: 9781136258398


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Within the U.K., there is a growing concern about the well-being of children and adolescents. For example, a comprehensive assessment of the lives and well-being of children and adolescents in economically advanced nations conducted by UNICEF in 2007 lists the U.K. at the bottom of a list of 21 developed nations on five dimensions (i.e., material and educational well-being, family and peer relationships, behaviors and risks, subjective well-being) of assessed child well-being (UNICEF, 2007). The Every Child Matters (DfES, 2004) agenda stressed schools’ responsibility to promote students’ well-being (Challen, Noden, West, & Machin, 2011). The Children Act 2004 “[i]ncludes duties to improve well-being and to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people” (DfES, 2004, p. 20) until they are 19. Moreover, research on trends in adolescent mental health indicate that the number of children with emotional and behavioral problems in the U.K. substantially increased during a 25 year (1974–1999) period (Collishwa, S., Maughan, B., Goodman, & Pickles, 2004).

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