One In Four Girls Are Depressed By The Time They're 14, Study Finds

That levels of depression is rising among teens is depressing itself. aslysun/Shutterstock

Rosie McCall 22 Sep 2017, 16:33

One-quarter of girls and one-tenth of boys are depressed at age 14. This is according to new research from academics at the University of Liverpool and University College London, with experts saying we're at crisis point.

"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," explained Anna Feuchtwang, Chief Executive of the National Children's Burea, in a statement

"With a quarter of 14-year-old girls showing signs of depression, it's now beyond doubt that this problem is reaching crisis point."

Some have suggested social media plays a part, adding to the pressure many girls already face during adolescence.

“We know that teenage girls face a huge range of pressures, including stress at school, body image issues, bullying, and the pressure created by social media,” says Marc Bush, the chief policy adviser at the charity Young Minds, reports the Guardian.

Another shocking find was the huge disparity between parents' reports of their children's well-being and the teenagers' self-reporting. Whereas 24 percent of girls and 9 percent of boys described symptoms of depression, parents' recognized these symptoms only 18 percent of the time in females and 12 percent of the time in males. 

"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," said Feuchtwang.

Aside from having two 'X' chromosomes, researchers noticed two other factors than increased teens' likelihood of developing depression – ethnicity and income.

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