Make an Enquiry
Contact Us

Quarter of girls age 14 are depressed

A quarter of girls are displaying depressive symptoms at 14, according to research.

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. They found one in four girls and one in 10 boys are depressed by age 14.

Anna Feuchtwang, Chief Executive of the National Children’s Bureau which published the research, said: “This study of thousands of children gives us the most compelling evidence available about the extent of mental ill-health among children in the UK. With a quarter of 14-year-old girls showing signs of depression, it’s now beyond doubt that this problem is reaching crisis point.

As part of the Millennium Cohort Study, parents reported on their children’s mental health at ages 3, 5, 7, 11 and 14. When they reached 14, the children were themselves asked questions about their depressive symptoms.

Parents’ reports of emotional problems were roughly the same for boys and girls throughout childhood, increasing from 7 per cent of children at age 7 to 12 per cent at age 11. However, by the time they reached early adolescence at age 14, emotional problems became more prevalent in girls, with 18 per cent having symptoms of depression and anxiety, compared to 12 per cent of boys. However, boys were more likely than girls to have behaviour problems.

The research also highlighted that generally, 14-year-olds from better-off families were less likely to have high levels of depressive symptoms compared to their peers from poorer homes.

Anna Feuchtwang added: “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.

“The new research also suggests that signs of depression are generally more common among children from poorer families. We know that mental health doesn’t exist in a vacuum and as the government prepares to publish its plans to improve children’s wellbeing, it must address the overlap with other aspects of disadvantage.”

Knowledge & Resources

Keep abreast of the latest news in the children's services sector.

Social workers urged to support fathers at risk of causing harm to children

16/09/2021

Social workers, midwives and health visitors are being urged to provide more support to fathers following an independent review into safeguarding children under one year old from non-accidental injury caused by male carers.

The independent Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel’s latest review looks at the lives of babies who were known or suspected to have [...]

Read Full Story

Child sexual abuse found in most major religions in UK

16/09/2021

‘Blatant hypocrisy and moral failing of religions’ has been highlighted following an investigation which found child sexual abuse had been found in most major religions in the UK.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse report ‘Child protection in religious organisations and settings’ examined evidence received from 38 religious organisations with a presence in England [...]

Read Full Story

Significant shift needed in adoption system

15/09/2021

There should be a significant shift in thinking about the adoption system in order to provide better support for some of England’s most vulnerable children, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Adoption and Permanence has urged.

Following a three-month inquiry, the APPGAP has launched a report calling for a system-wide move from ‘family finding’, the [...]

Read Full Story
Children First is an online resource for professionals working with children presented by WillisPalmer, providing you with the latest news, features and interviews.
Subscribe Today
Delivering a diverse, reliable range of services to children and their families across the UK
D1, Parkside, Knowledge Gateway, Nesfield Road, Colchester, Essex CO4 3ZL
Contact Us
WP Quality Assured

A Mackman Group collaboration - market research by Mackman Research | website design by Mackman

closechevron-downbars linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram