Mental Health Problems Jump Among Young

Researchers think influence of pop culture is to blame for anxiety, etc.
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2010 11:50 AM CST
Mental Health Problems Jump Among Young
An anxious teen.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Today's high school and college students are five times more likely to suffer from mental health issues than their counterparts who lived during the Great Depression. A study of responses to the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory administered between 1938 and 2007 shows a fivefold increase in categories like anxiety and depression. Researchers surmise popular culture is the culprit.

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“This does seem to be a problem, that there are more young people who report anxiety and depression,” the lead author tells the AP. She also believes the change from 70 years ago could be greater, given that so many children are on antidepressants that mask their symptoms. Experts say today's pressure to succeed could lead to increased disappointment, causing young people to suffer, but some experts dispute the methodology of the study, and suggest the MMPI is not administered to a representative population. (Read more mental health stories.)

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