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American youth are facing a mental health crisis of tremendous proportions, new data shows, as rates of suicide and depression have skyrocketed in the past decade.
In an March 14 essay on The Conversation, San Diego State University professor of psychology professor Jean Twenge explained that new analysis of government research, specifically the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, reveal a "staggering" epidemic of mental health problems.
Statistics - Rate - 19-year-olds - Percent - Years
Among the most notable statistics documented are that the suicide rate among 18- to 19-year-olds has increased 56 percent in the years 2008 to 2017. In that same span of time, anxiety and hopelessness among 18- to 25-year-olds has risen 71 percent. Depression among 20- and 21-year-olds has more than doubled from 2009 to 2017. Among 16- and 17-year-olds depression grew 69 percent.
The mental health issues were particularly dire for young women and girls. By 2017, the data reveals that approximately 20 percent of 12- to 17-year-old girls had experienced "major depression" in the previous year.
Survey - Data - Respondents
The survey data was obtained from over 600,000 American respondents.
"The large increases in mental health issues in the National Survey on Drug Use and Health appeared almost exclusively among teens and young adults, with less change among Americans ages 26 and over," Twenge noted.
Influences - Age - Year - Depression - Distress
"Even after statistically controlling for the influences of age and year, we found that depression, distress and suicidal thoughts were much higher among those born in the mid- to late-1990s, the generation I call iGen," she said, referring to younger generations of youth who are tethered to their iphones and digital devices.
Twenge is the author of iGen: Why Today's Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy — and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood — and What That Means for the Rest of Us.
Rise - Health - Issues
Some may attribute the rise in mental health issues among young...
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