One-quarter of girls 'are depressed by age 14'

Medical Government/ NHS related news

A new report has indicated that a significant proportion of girls are affected by depression by the age of 14.

Researchers from University College London's Institute of Education and the University of Liverpool analysed this trend by assessing information on more than 10,000 children born in 2000-01 who took part in the Millennium Cohort Study.

“One in four girls in the UK is depressed by the age of 14, according to a new study of more than 10,000 children.“

It was shown that 24 per cent of girls and nine per cent of boys suffer from depression according to their own self-reported symptoms. Generally, 14-year-olds from poorer families were less likely to have high levels of depressive symptoms compared to their richer peers.

Parents' reports of emotional problems were roughly the same for boys and girls throughout childhood, but by the time they reached early adolescence at age 14, emotional problems became more prevalent in girls.

Conversely, behavioural problems such as acting out, fighting and being rebellious decreased from infancy to age five, but then increased to age 14, with boys more likely than girls to experience these issues.

Professor Emla Fitzsimons, director of the Millennium Cohort Study, said: "While further research using this rich data is needed to understand the causes and consequences of this, this study highlights the extent of mental health problems among young adolescents in the UK today."

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