Mental wellbeing, reading and writing – How children and young people’s mental wellbeing is related to their reading and writing experiences


26 September 2018

The link between literacy and health has been evidenced quite well1, with studies indicating that people who struggle with literacy are also more likely to have poor physical health. However, what we know about the relationship between mental wellbeing and literacy is much more meagre. There is some evidence to suggest that higher levels of mental wellbeing and life satisfaction can positively impact on academic achievement, while there is also evidence that mental wellbeing, such as the ability to cope with stress, can affect pupils’ ability to learn. Some research also suggests that five-year-olds with poor vocabulary skills are one and a half times more likely to have mental health problems as adults4. Emotional wellbeing has also been linked to non-cognitive skills, such as resilience, grit, self-esteem, confidence and motivation, which in turn may have a positive impact on pupil achievement.


Christina Clark and Anne Teravainen-Goff


National Literacy Trust

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