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Data shows pocket of kids in downtown New West struggling emotionally

A UBC study looked into the well-being of students across the province and broke down the results by municipality and neighbourhood.
MDI New West
A UBC study shows how kids in Grade 7 are doing.

A pocket of Grade 7 students in New Westminster, those in the Downtown-Stewardson area, are struggling socially and emotionally, while kids in the rest of the city are doing almost as well as their peers across the province, according to a recent UBC study.

Grade 7 students in New Westminster overall reported feeling pretty good, with 34 per cent classified by the study as thriving, 36 per cent in the medium to high category of social and emotional wellness and 29 per cent considered in the “low well-being” category. But only 20 per cent of students in the Downtown-Stewardson area were classified as thriving.

The UBC Human Early Development Learning Partnership (HELP) has been measuring the social and emotional well-being of students in grades 4 and 7. In June, they published the results of the Grade 7 cohort and how students self-reported on a variety of indicators of social and emotional well-being in a report called the Middle-Years Development Instrument.

In the Downtown-Stewardson area, 44 per cent of Grade 7 students were classified in the low well-being category, based on their optimism, self-esteem, happiness, absence of sadness and general health.

Other indicators were measured, called “assets,” that is, positive relationships, after-school activities and sleep and nutrition. Compared to their peers across the province, students in New Westminster reported marginally lower.

However, in the Downtown-Stewardson area, only 56 per cent reported having positive adult relationships, and 58 per cent reported having good nutrition and sleep. Reporting on after-school activities, though, 82 per cent reported taking part, close to the school district average of 86 per cent.

For more information on the MDI as well as information about Grade 4 students, go to