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Poll: Parents Cite Barriers to Recognizing Depression in Adolescents

Parents report that one in four teens knows a peer with depression

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Two-thirds of parents acknowledge there are barriers to recognizing depression in their own adolescent child, according to a Mott Poll Report, published Nov. 18 by the University of Michigan.

Ipsos Public Affairs conducted a national survey on behalf of C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in August 2019. The analysis included 819 parents of at least one middle school or high school child living in the household.

The results show that one in four parents say their middle or high school-aged child knows a peer or classmate with depression. Though most parents are confident they would recognize depression in their middle or high school-aged child, two-thirds cite barriers to recognizing signs and symptoms. These barriers include: “hard to tell normal ups and downs from depression” (40 percent), “youth is good at hiding feelings” (30 percent), “we don’t talk about feelings much” (14 percent), “don’t spend much time with my youth” (7 percent), and “not sure what signs of depression are” (4 percent). Seven in 10 parents think schools should screen all students for depression.

“The good news is that parents view schools as a valuable partner in recognizing youth depression,” poll codirector Sarah Clark said in a statement. “The bad news is that too few schools have adequate resources to screen students for depression, and to offer counseling to students who need it.”

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