1 in 5 Teens Have Serious Mental Disorder

Jim Liebelt | Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University | Thursday, October 14, 2010

1 in 5 Teens Have Serious Mental Disorder

About 1 in 5 teens in the United States suffer from a mental disorder severe enough to their impact daily activities, either currently or at some point in their lives, according to a startling new study. The research also concludes that a higher percentage have or have had some sort of mental disorder, though less serious in nature.

"The prevalence of severe emotional and behavior disorders is even higher than the most frequent major physical conditions in adolescence, including asthma or diabetes, which have received widespread public health attention," the researchers write in the October issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

The study is the first to report the prevalence of a broad range of mental disorders in a nationally representative sample of U.S. adolescents, the researchers said.

The study involved surveys from 10,123 adolescents, ages 13 to 18, in the continental U.S. Mental disorders were assessed during interviews.

Anxiety disorders, such as panic disorders and social phobia, were the most common conditions (31.9 percent of teens had such a disorder), followed by behavior disorders, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or ADHD (19.1 percent), mood disorders, such as major depressive disorder, (14.3 percent) and substance use disorders (11.4 percent).

Source: My Health News Daily