The American Psychiatric Association issued the following news release: One-Third of Teens Have Parent With Anxiety or Depression, Survey Suggests
Parents and their teenage children report similar rates of anxiety and depression, according to a report published this week by Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Making Caring Common project.
Further, almost 40% of teens report being worried about the mental health of at least one of their parents.
“There is a largely untold story about parent mental health in America,” the report’s lead author Richard Weissbourd, Ed.D., of the Harvard Graduate School of Education said in a news release.
“Parents and teens’ mental health are deeply interwoven, and we need to do much more in this country to support parents and to promote their mental health. Parents and other primary caregivers also need the knowledge and resources to be able to support their teens’ mental health.”
Weissbourd and his colleagues conducted two surveys in December 2022. One survey was directed to teens (ages 14 to 17) and young adults (ages 18 to 25), while the other was directed to parents or caregivers. Respondents were recruited from NORC at the University of Chicago, a research organization with nationally representative panels of both adults and teens. The survey questions for teens and young adults asked the youth to identify up to two primary caregiver(s) and focused on issues such as their perceived stressors, relationships, view of their parents and schools, and their help-seeking strategies. Much of the caregiver survey directly matched the questions given to teens and young adults.
Respondents reported their anxiety and depression symptoms using the Generalized Anxiety Disorder-2 and Patient Health Questionnaire-2 measures, respectively. Respondents were considered to have anxiety or depression if they had scores of three or more, which is the score at which patients are typically screened for generalized anxiety disorder or major depressive disorder in clinical settings.
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