Category: National Children's Bureau

Posted on 15.11.2017

New research, published by the National Children’s Bureau (NCB) shows that a quarter of girls (24%) and one in 10 boys (9%) are depressed by the age of 14.

The shocking statistics come from the research carried out amongst 10,000 children born in 2000-01, part of a study by the UCL Institute for Education and the University of Liverpool.  The findings could mean across the UK, as many as 166,000 girls and 67,000 boys of that age are living with depression.

The Millennium Cohort Study has spoken to the parents of the children at ages 3, 5, 7, 11 and 14 – with the children themselves also being asked questions at age 14.

Interestingly, the researchers found that the teenagers’ responses about emotional problems differed from their parent’s perceptions, as parents identified more boys and fewer girls with depressive symptoms. This may mean that some parents may not be aware of their daughters’ depression.

Chief Executive of the NCB, Anna Feuchtwang, said: “With a quarter of 14-year-old girls showing signs of depression, it’s now beyond doubt that this problem is reaching crisis point.  Worryingly, there is evidence that parents may be underestimating their daughters’ mental health needs.

“Conversely, parents may be picking up on symptoms in their sons, which boys don’t report themselves.  It’s vital that both children and their parents can make their voices heard to maximise the chances of early identification and access to specialist support.”

To read more about this report and other studies conducted with the NCB, see www.ncb.org.uk/news-opinion.

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