Growing Up in Scotland: Life at Age 12

Date: 14th August 2019
Category: Basic Health and Welfare, Education, Leisure and Cultural Activities, Family Environment and Alternative Care
Author: Scottish Government

Scottish Government’s report presents initial findings about the lives of 12-year-old children living in Scotland.

The report presents findings on educational aspirations, relationships, social media and internet use, risky behaviours, healthy weight and life satisfaction. The findings include:

  • most children (77%) were keen to stay in education after the age of 16
  • bullying was a relatively common experience with a significant minority of children experiencing it on some form on a regular basis
  • most children reported a strong relationship with their resident parents, while relationships between children and their non-resident parent were weaker
  • most children (57%) spent less than two hours on social media or messaging people, with boys spending less time on social media than girls
  • 20% said they had tried alcohol, 4% said they had tried a cigarette and 7% said they had tried an e-cigarette or vaping device
  • the most common anti-social behaviour reported was fighting, with 19% of children saying they had done this
  • boys and children living in the most deprived areas were more likely to have reported involvement in anti-social behaviour than girls and children living in the least deprived areas
  • 60% were a healthy weight whilst 36% were overweight
  • children reported a generally high level of life satisfaction
  • children who looked forward to school, who spent a limited amount of time on social media, and who could always count on their resident parents and friends reported a higher than average life satisfaction. Those who experienced bulling most days tended to have lower life satisfaction

These findings are drawn from the preliminary analysis of the data collected from 3419 families living in Scotland.