More than half of American adults believe children have worse emotional and mental health than children in previous generations, a new survey shows.
Many of the nearly 2,700 respondents also believe youngsters today have higher stress levels, less quality family time, and poorer coping skills and personal friendships, according to the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health. Mott is part of the University of Michigan.
The survey, published April 18, also found that 42 percent of the adults believe children today have worse physical health than when the adults were children. Respondents aged 18 to 69 were more likely to think that than respondents 70 and older.
“We have seen major advances in medicine and public health over the last century that have greatly reduced children’s illness and death. On the other hand, conditions like childhood obesity, asthma and behavior problems have become more common,” poll director Dr. Matthew Davis said in a university news release. Davis is a professor of pediatrics and internal medicine at C.S. Mott.
Mark Wietecha, CEO and president of the Children’s Hospital Association, which collaborated on the poll, added that “the dominant view from this poll is that children’s health is worse today than it was for generations past, and we need to more urgently address these challenges.”
Previous polls by the hospital have found that adults consider bullying, stress, suicide and depression to be leading child health concerns in the United States.
The American Academy of Pediatrics offers resources on child health.