Kidsdata.org offers data on parent perceptions of their children's overall emotional health, stress level, and whether their child may be depressed. Also available is a measure of parental depression: parent reports of whether they have needed help with depression since becoming a parent.
In addition to parent perceptions, kidsdata.org offers data on youth reports of depression-related feelings in a separate Emotional Health topic.
Emotional health includes self-confidence, the ability to form and
maintain caring relationships, coping skills, optimism, and the ability
to make positive choices. Sound emotional health, which is more than the
absence of mental disorders, is critical to equipping young people for
the challenges of growing up and living as healthy adults (1).
Depression is one of the most common emotional health problems among
teens, estimated to affect 15-20% of youth under 18 in the U.S. (2). In
2011, almost 30% of high school students nationwide reported persistent
feelings of sadness or hopelessness – one indicator of depression (3).
Youth diagnosed with depression often experience significant impairment
in peer, family, school, and physical functioning (2, 4). Depressed
teens also have higher rates of other emotional and behavioral health
problems, such as anxiety, drug use, aggressiveness, and suicidal
behavior; and they are more likely to experience depression and other
psychological problems as adults (2, 4). In addition, rates of serious
chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, are higher among
individuals with depressive symptoms (5). Depression can be especially
difficult to detect in children, as it can manifest differently in young
people than in adults (4).
Although some stress can be beneficial, stress can harm children when it is intense, persistent,
uncontrollable, and when children have inadequate resources for handling
it (6). Excessive stress, particularly when a child does not have adequate
supportive relationships, can increase a child's lifetime vulnerability
to stress-related physical and mental illnesses, including heart
disease, diabetes, depression, anxiety disorders, and addiction (6).
Children with at least one depressed parent are at a higher risk of adverse behavioral, developmental, psychological, and health outcomes both in the short and long term (7, 8).
Sources for this narrative:
- American Psychological Association. (2012). Emotional health. Retrieved from: http://www.apa.org/topics/emotion/index.aspx
- Jaycox, L. H., et al. (2009). Impact of teen depression on academic, social, and physical functioning. Pediatrics, 124(4), e569-e605. Retrieved from: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/124/4/e596.full.pdf+html?sid=a7050435-b8ce-45e7-a73e-8cdd78d4ed3e
- Child Trends Data Bank. (2012). Adolescents who feel sad or hopeless. Retrieved from: http://www.childtrendsdatabank.org/?q=node/126
- Brent, D. A., & Birmaher, B. (2002). Adolescent depression. New England Journal of Medicine, 347, 667-671.
- Katon, W. J. (2003). Clinical and health services relationships
between major depression, depressive symptoms, and general medical
illness. Biological Psychiatry, 54(3), 216-226.
- National Scientific Council on the Developing Child. (2005). Excessive Stress Disrupts the Architecture of the Developing Brain. Retrieved from:
- Sills, M. R., et al. (2007). Association between
parental depression and children’s health care use. Pediatrics, 119(4), e829-e836. Retrieved from: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/119/4/e829.full.pdf+html?sid=4193ecb2-5806-442b-aa45-8bc150277018
- Pilowsky, et al. (April 2006). "Family Discord, Parental Depression, and Psychopathology in Offspring: 20-Year Follow-Up." Journal of the American Academy on Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 45(4). Retrieved from: http://www.jaacap.com/article/S0890-8567%2809%2962065-7/abstract
In 2010, about 86% of California children were in good or excellent overall emotional health, according to their parents. However, roughly one in 10 children in California were in very poor, poor, or fair overall emotional health; poor/fair emotional health was more common among children from low-income households. About 6% of all children suffered from depression or were likely depressed in 2010, according to parents. Children in households with annual incomes less than $25,000 were more likely to be depressed (12%) than children in households with incomes over $75,000 (2-3%). Roughly 39% of children in California experienced an average level of stress in 2010, while 30% experienced low or very low levels of stress, and 11% experienced very high or high levels of stress.
About a quarter (26%) of children in California had a parent who reported needing help for depression since becoming a parent, according to 2010 data.