We have completed maintenance on DiscoverMagazine.com and action may be required on your account. Learn More

Numbers: The Majority of Minors Have Faced Mental Illness

By Kat McGowan
Apr 17, 2012 5:00 AMNov 12, 2019 6:05 AM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

82.5: The percentage of children and young adults who exhibit significant symptoms of mental illness at some point between the ages of 9 and 21. The startling statistic comes from a collaborative study conducted by Duke University and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, which surveyed 1,420 children over 12 years beginning in 1993. Investigators checked in up to nine times to test for anxiety, depression, addiction, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and more. The results: 61.1 percent met the diagnostic criteria for mental illness during at least one appointment, while an additional 21.4 percent had problems bad enough to interfere with school, social life, or family relations. Just like physical disease, mental illness affects nearly all of us at times, says study coauthor and psychologist E. Jane Costello. “We have to destigmatize the idea of mental disorder,” she says. “We shouldn’t be surprised that the brain has problems, just like the rest of the body.”

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

1 free articleSubscribe
Discover Magazine Logo
Want more?

Keep reading for as low as $1.99!


Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

To The Magazine

Save up to 40% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2024 Kalmbach Media Co.