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Teens see themselves as more popular than at nine

Nine-year-old girls report higher anxiety levels than boys their age, a new report has revealed.

The report by the Economic Social and Research Institute (ERSI) and the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) however found that girls are more positive about their behaviour and are somewhat more confident as learners than boys.

The new report looked at well being and school experiences among children aged nine and 13.

Among the key findings from the report among the nine year old group was that middle-class children are more confident about their behaviour, and are less anxious than their peers from working class or non-employed households.

Meanwhile children from immigrant families see themselves as less popular, are less happy and more anxious, report poorer behaviour and are more self-critical of their academic abilities and their body image than those from Irish families, the report found.

Children with a special education need (SEN), especially those with emotional-behavioural or learning difficulties are significantly more negative about themselves than their peers, the report also found.

Meanwhile, positive primary school experiences, especially children's attitudes to their teacher, school and school subjects, enhance young people's self image at the age of 13.


Young people report more positive behaviour and see themselves as more popular at 13 than they had at nine years of age.

The author of the report Emer Smyth told how teachers play an important role in helping students.

"The quality of relations with teachers plays an important protective role in children's well being within primary schools and over the transition to second-level education," she said.

"A positive and supportive relationship with teachers not only helps students cope with school work but influences how they view themselves more generally."