The aim of the research strand of the #BeeWell project is to improve our understanding of the development and drivers of wellbeing in adolescence. We are using an adapted version of a ‘population cohort study’ design. In #BeeWell, this comprises two main elements:

(i) a truncated longitudinal study in which young people complete surveys annually, starting when they are in Year 8 (aged 12-13) and ending when they are in Year 10 (aged 14-15): Sample 1

(ii) an annual cross-sectional study of young people who are in Year 10 (aged 14-15): Sample 2

Sample 1 (longitudinal) allows examination of change in the same young people over time, whereas Sample 2 (cross-sectional) allows for the examination of change in the same age group over time.

Our study population are adolescents aged 12-15 that attend secondary schools in the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA; Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan). The estimated potential sample size is nearly 37,000 for the longitudinal cohort (Sample 1), and in the range 34,500 to 37,000 for each annual cross-sectional cohort (Sample 2).

During each annual survey window in the autumn term, young people in participating schools will complete the #BeeWell survey. This includes questions about: 

  • Autonomy, life satisfaction, and optimism
  • Psychological wellbeing, self-esteem, stress, coping, and emotion regulation 
  • Positive and negative emotions 
  • Health and routines, hobbies and entertainment, school, environment and society, relationships, and the future (including life readiness)
  • Gender identity and sexuality 
  • Residential postcode (so that we can see how responses vary across different neighbourhoods in Greater Manchester). 

More information about the #BeeWell survey can be found here.

These data will be matched to socio-demographic data provided by the 10 GMCA Local Authorities and/or individual schools (e.g. sex, ethnicity, free school meal eligibility, special educational needs). We will also explore additional data linkage opportunities (e.g. to educational data in the National Pupil Database) to maximise the potential for further insights resulting from the research.

The #BeeWell dataset will provide a ‘sandpit’ resource for us to perform a range of analyses that improve our understanding of the development and drivers of wellbeing in adolescence.