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Can we make school students happier?

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No-one can doubt that many 21st century schoolchildren are generally unhappy with their lives, and we see the effects of this in our wards and clinics, with self-harm and functional symptoms. What can be done in schools to help? Bullying, aggression and violence are major factors, and strategies have been developed that purport to change the prevailing culture in schools, with benefits to the students’ well-being. Until now, these have not been subjected to rigorous controlled trials.

In a cluster randomised trial, 40 secondary schools in the southeast of England were randomised to either continue with normal practice or receive a …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.