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The Mental Wellbeing in Adolescence: Genes and Environment Study (MAGES) aims to improve understanding of how genes and environment can affect mental wellbeing in young people.

Good mental health is extremely important for children. It helps them to be happy, to thrive at school, and to have good relationships with others. Understanding the role of genes and environment together means we can better support children’s individual needs and mental health.

MAGES is a new research project run by researchers at Cardiff University's MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics.

The research is organised by Professor Stephan Collishaw within the University's Division for Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences.

The study

In order to do this research, we need to get DNA samples from many thousands of young people. One way we could do this is by collecting saliva from pupils in secondary schools. We will be visiting a number of schools in Wales to see if pupils will take part in MAGES. Our aim is to see if collecting DNA from children in schools is feasible.


The aims of the study are to explore the views of parents, teachers and young people on this kind of research.

We will explore whether it is practical to collect saliva samples from children in schools, and examine whether the samples obtained would be of sufficient quality for DNA analysis.

We aim to build a more complete picture of what affects mental wellbeing by securely and anonymously linking DNA information to other information on health and wellbeing.


The research is currently funded by the Medical Research Council.