General Article One in four girls is depressed at age 14, new study reveals

Topic Selected: Depression
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Mental ill-health among children of the new century – trends across childhood, with a focus on age 14.

New research shows a quarter of girls (24%) and one in ten boys (9%) are depressed at age 14.

By Richard Newson

In this report researchers from the UCL Institute of Education and the University of Liverpool analysed information on more than 10,000 children born in 2000–01 who are taking part in the Millennium Cohort Study.

At ages three, five, seven, 11 and 14, parents reported on their children’s mental health. Then, when they reached 14, the children were themselves asked questions about their depressive symptoms.

Based on the 14-year-olds reporting of their emotional problems, 24 per cent of girls and nine per cent of boys suffer from depression.

The research, published with the National Children’s Bureau, also investigated links between depressive symptoms and family income. Generally, 14-year-olds from better-off families were less likely to have high levels of depressive symp...

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