A new study shows high levels of life satisfaction among children and teenagers in Ireland.
This research from the ESRI, based on the Growing Up in Ireland studies, looked at mental health and wellbeing among young people.
Helen Deely from the HSE's Health and Wellbeing programme says positive relationships in children’s and teenager’s lives are key;
"This research is telling when children and young people experience positive and affirming relationships at home and in school, they're less likely to experience social and emotional difficulties."
The number of friends, absence of bullying, involvement in sport and having an adult to talk to were found to be important and protective factors.
The research also found emotional difficulties like feeling unhappy or tearful or being picked on or bullied by peers increased significantly for girls between 13 and 17.
Prof Anne Nolan from the ESRI says problems can have long-lasting effects;
"They can disrupt education and employment opportunities, and can have other long-lasting impacts on other social outcomes."
The report highlighted a gap in the curriculum for wellbeing at the senior cycle level, and the importance of poverty reduction policies to support families