Digital Learning

Giving teens the power to perform

Will your learners be part of the research for Quintillion? Their team of psychologists and behavioural change coaches are measuring stress and wellbeing among secondary school students in the UK. Emer O’Donnell explains why.

Quintillion Cognitive Technologies is a behavioural change technology company. We can map young people’s behavioural predispositions, which is ‘who you are on the inside and what it is like to be you’ as opposed to personality, which is ‘who you are on the outside and people’s experience of what it is like to be you’.

Our ‘Global Predisposition Indicator ©’ created by Dr Steve Glowinkowski, another Founding Director, is a scientifically validated measure that has been tested globally, with over 25,000 adults and 4,000 young people.

Smart psychology can support teens. At Quintillion we have created a box set of apps called ‘Q’ www.quintillion.io/about-q/ that provides personalised outputs and coaching tools specifically for 12 to 18 year olds.

It is free right now and once young people complete a questionnaire they get a personal insight into what stresses them out, what builds their confidence, how they can learn better, their career fit, how to build positive relationships and achieve their goals. All things potentially impacted by Covid-19.

This pandemic will impact young people’s lives in three key ways: educationally, economically and emotionally. The social distancing measures that have gone with Covid-19 and the increased reports of stress and anxiety levels have only highlighted again that this period in a young person’s life is a very vulnerable one.

  • We know that many mental health difficulties emerge in early adolescence.
  • We know that poor educational attainment is linked to higher levels of mental illness.
  • We know that many of the ‘good adults’, the presence of which is the strongest predictor of good mental health for young people, will be in survival mode right now.

So, what can we do to provide the support they need to balance their well-being, mental health and performance? Young people need to be better equipped with the skills that give them the power to perform. This means they need to be able to ride the changing waves of Covid-19 and navigate the fears that uncertainly creates.

This starts with developing more self-awareness around what their natural behavioural strengths are, those behaviours that they are predisposed to and feel really comfortable with and those behaviours which are gaps and are not natural for them, often making them feel uncomfortable, stressed and anxious if needing to carry them out.

We all have behavioural gaps and when we need to bridge these it takes us beyond our comfort zone. This is fine in short bursts where learning can take place, but it can be detrimental if we are struggling for too long.

A challenge is a good thing but if it is prolonged it can easily lead to individuals feeling out of their depth, fearful, stressed and anxious. It creates a lack of clarity so people can feel they are not in control, heightening sensitivity and distress. This impacts the ability to learn and perform.

Our team of psychologists and behavioural change coaches are now carrying out a study to measure the levels of stress and wellbeing among secondary school students in the UK. If you would like your school to participate please contact me at emer.odonnell@quintillion.io

The study requirements can easily be communicated through Microsoft Teams. Participating schools will gain insight into the stress and wellbeing levels found in their school population. These findings can provide a focus for future wellbeing and performance strategy.

This is especially important as prioritising young people’s health and wellbeing now and when secondary schools fully reopen, will be essential to shifts the emphasis from late treatments to early intervention and prevention.

Students participating in the study will get free access to their unique ‘Q’ and can keep it for as long as they wish.

It will support them so they can

  • manage their learning better both now and when they return to the classroom.
  • be better able to regulate their own wellbeing
  • seek support if they need it. Q has a detailed list of the main youth agencies within it

Q will also encourage them to recalibrate and begin to start thinking about their future again, with greater motivation, as they can now understand and better appreciate their own unique talents.

I have heard time and time again from young people, with the hundreds of hours of qualitative feedback I have done when researching ‘Q’, that they feel it doesn’t judge them and it supports them to be more confident. This builds greater self-esteem and resilience and creates hope. As the adults in the world right now I think we should be doing everything we can to fan that light of hope in their lives’ so they get to fulfil their potential

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