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 use an adapted version of a population cohort study design.

The #BeeWell study consists of two main elements:

  1. 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
  2. An annual cross-sectional study of young people who are in Year 10 (aged 14-15): Sample 2

Sample 1 (longitudinal) allows us to examine change in the same young people over time, and sample 2 (cross-sectional) allows us to examine change in the same age group over time.

Our study population in 2021 and 2022 was adolescents aged 12-15 that attend secondary schools in the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan). The estimated potential sample size so far is nearly 37,000 for the longitudinal cohort (sample 1), and between 34,500-37,000 for each annual cross-sectional cohort (sample 2).

From 2023 the study population will also include students from schools across Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Southampton.

At the same time each year, young people in participating schools complete the #BeeWell survey, answering questions about: 


The domains of wellbeing:

  • Meaning, purpose and control
  • Understanding yourself
  • Emotions


The drivers of wellbeing:

  • Health and routines,
  • Hobbies and entertainment
  • Relationships
  • Environment and society
  • The future (GM only)
  • Wellbeing support (Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth & Southampton only)


The data is matched to socio-demographic data provided by local authorities and individual schools (e.g. gender, ethnicity, free school meal eligibility, special educational needs) and we’re exploring opportunities to link our data to sources such as the National Pupil Database, to maximise the potential for further insights.

Find out more about the #BeeWell survey