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Depression and Anxiety Are Major Issues for Teens

According to a recent study and report conducted by the Pew Research Center, most American teenagers – across demographic groups – see depression and anxiety as major problems among their peers.

The survey found that 70 percent of teenagers saw mental health as a big issue. Fewer teenagers cited bullying, drug addiction or gangs as major problems, although kids from lower-income households were more likely to voice concerns about such matters. As reported in the New York Times, researchers found the consistency of the responses across gender, race and income lines as striking, and highlighted academic pressure as a significant worry.

The survey of 920 teenagers ages 13 to 17 in the United States was conducted online and by phone in the fall of 2018. Some psychologists have tied a growth in mental health issues among teenagers to increased social media use, pressure to succeed academically and frightening events like terror attacks and school shootings. Mental health experts offering advice to parents about their kids say listening — while not overloading with advice — is important, as is providing teens the opportunity to talk to a counselor or psychologist if needed.

“This research just validates exactly what we have been seeing at Alta for the last several years,” said Alta Behavioral Healthcare CEO Joe Shorokey. “It seems that there are more things pressing down on our children today than during previous generations, and social media is a huge part of that.”