first national survey on well-being for children aged 3 to 11 years

The purpose of this study is to produce missing or partial indicators of their well-being and is part of a more global system for monitoring the health of children and young people. This will make it possible to guide public authorities in the implementation of prevention strategies. Participation in this study is necessary to build a scientific foundation and create environments that promote children’s development.

Estimation of children’s well-being to meet the need for health indicators in 3-11-year-olds

The health crisis has affected the mental health of young people and has shown the need for action for care and prevention based on robust data. For this it is important to have indicators. First, to understand their possible difficulties and to be able to prevent them as quickly as possible. Then to take action to encourage health-promoting behaviors before entering adolescence and then into adulthood.

Genevieve Chene, Director General of Public Health France

Data on well-being for young children aged 3 to 11 years are currently lacking or are still very fragmentary. The Enabee study aims to:

  • measure the state of well-being and the prevalence of the various emotional difficulties encountered (mood disorders, anxiety, phobias, emotions, learning difficulties);
  • describe the different dimensions of well-being and their impact on children’s quality of life;
  • identify the circumstances and determinants that affect well-being (social, family, economic, health and environmental elements);
  • assess the relationship between the measured difficulties and other health domains (for example: diseases, body size, children’s development, health behaviors).

The results of this study will provide indicators of children’s mental health. In addition to existing indicators1.2, they will provide an overview of the health status of children in France. These results will be anonymous, they are population-level statistical data for that age group and do not constitute an individual diagnostic tool. They must be presented by the end of 2022. The implementation of the study in the DROMs is being considered for 2023. Repeatedly at regular intervals, the Enabee study will make it possible to measure changes in children’s well-being and the effects of the preventive measures taken to improve it.

A survey conducted in schools to reach as many people as possible

Enabee’s national survey will take place from May to June 2022 and aims to interview around 30,000 school children from the small kindergarten section (PSM) to CM2 randomly selected from 600 public and private schools under contract in France.

In order to assess as well as possible the well-being of children and the factors that may influence it, the survey will ask specific questions to children, their parents and their teachers using specific questionnaires. By agreement of participation, the parents or adults living with the child on a daily basis will be asked to answer a 30-minute questionnaire, on the Internet or by telephone. From CP, children will fill out self-questionnaires in their classes during school hours. Each class session lasts approximately 1.30, and investigators authorized by Ipsos, the service provider responsible for the operational implementation, will visit the schools and classes selected to accompany the children and their teachers.

A pilot study was launched in January 2022 with approximately 1,800 children to test the entire data collection system, its feasibility and its acceptability. In particular, the results have made it possible to show a strong commitment of institutional leaders, teachers and children to this large-scale system.

Appropriate tools to better inform and support participants

Public Health France provides children, parents and teachers with numerous information tools to better inform them about the purpose and progress of this study.

  • An information set consisting of posters, brochures and newsletters presenting the survey was sent in advance to parents and teachers.
  • A website dedicated to the Enabee survey that is accessible to all and that gathers all useful information to support and answer questions from children, parents and teachers throughout the duration of the survey and beyond. In particular, the following will be offered: educational resources, frequently asked questions and places reserved for participants with access to the questionnaire.
  • A toll-free telephone number: 08 00 94 25 91 and an e-mail address: contact@enabee.fr are also available to answer further questions from participants.

For more information, see the page dedicated to the survey on our site – Enabee: National Survey on Child Welfare

Two governing bodies support the implementation of the study

Led by Public Health France, the national study on the mental health of young children associates the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of National Education and actors working with children and young people.

It is based on two cases:

  • The scientific support committee, which consists of child psychiatrists, psychologists, doctors and specialists in child development, learning difficulties, epidemiologists, statisticians, specialists in education and social sciences … Its mission is to specify and define study protocol, objectives, methodological framework and synergy with existing studies .
  • The steering group, which ensures consistency between the objectives of the study and the expectations for decision support for public policies in relation to the prevention and management of mental disorders in children and young people; and good conditions for conducting the study. It consists of representatives of the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of National Education, the Department of Research, Studies, Evaluation and Statistics (DREES) as well as representatives of civil society, in particular parents ‘associations and teachers’ representatives.

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