Health, Happiness and Wellbeing of Young People in Scotland

Funding area: Social Sciences

The RSE Scotland Foundation is supporting a programme of research in the area of health,  happiness and wellbeing in the transition from adolescence to adulthood. An expert advisory group have identified this as an important and timely area for further research, with particular relevance to young people, communities and institutions in Scotland today.




In 2016, the Foundation funded two systematic reviews of empirical evaluations of interventions intended to improve health, happiness and wellbeing or reduce inequalities for young people. One review focused on population interventions, while the other reviewed individual interventions. Both reviews covered published and grey literature on studies deemed both unsuccessful and successful and included work conducted in any country where the results may be relevant to Scotland.

The two reviews, resulting from the first stage of the programme, can be downloaded below.

Health, Happiness and Wellbeing in the Transition from Adolescence to Adulthood: A Systematic Overview of Population Level Interventions: please click here to download the full report by Dr Joanne McLean (Principal Investigator) of the Mental Health Foundation.

Health, Happiness and Wellbeing for Adolescents Transitioning to Adulthood: A Systematic Review of Individual-Level Interventions for Adolescents from Vulnerable Groups: Please click here to download the full report by Hilary Thomson and colleagues of the MRC/CSO Social and Political Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow.

Building on the two literature reviews, and as part of a larger piece of work, we have sought to secure research services for a project that aims to define and disseminate the criteria which underpin successful programmes of interventions to improve wellbeing for young people in Scotland. The deadline for this process was the 25th of May 2018 and the tender was awarded to Dr Jo Williams (Senior Lecturer in Clinical and Health Psychology), Dr Helen Sharpe (Lecturer in Clinical and Health Psychology) and Professor Matthias Schwannauer (Head of in Clinical and Health Psychology) of the University of Edinburgh, and Hannah Biggs (Senior Researcher) and Dr Joanne McLean (Research Director) of ScotCen Social Research.