Sibling and family impact on British young adult mental wellbeing during Covid-19

Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Science (MSc)


The objective of this dissertation was to provide policy evidence for the protective nature of families, especially siblings, on British young adult positive mental health during the Covid-19 pandemic. Based off assessment of existing literature and theoretical frameworks, siblings were hypothesised to have mixed effects on young adult mental wellbeing changes during the first Coronavirus lockdown, which are moderated by gender. Using longitudinal data from the Millennium Cohort Study and the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale as a means of measuring positive mental health, these hypotheses were tested with lagged dependent variable multiple regression analyses. Mixed effects were confirmed, with family cohabitation and number of siblings generally positively associated, but fully-related siblings negatively associated, with mental wellbeing during Covid-19. Almost all effects were fully moderated by gender, supporting the notion that men’s wellbeing is more deeply affected, and protected, by family factors than women’s. Implications for policy include incorporating family networks into young adult male wellbeing resilience interventions, as well as supporting families housing young adult children.
Date of Award8 Dec 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Bristol
SupervisorSusan E Harkness (Supervisor) & Sandra F Dowling (Supervisor)


  • Gender
  • Families & Parenting
  • Mental Health
  • Young Adults
  • COVID-19

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