Student Well-Being

Mental-Health Disorders Gain Foothold During Teenage Years

June 21, 2005 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Nearly half of Americans will have a mental-health disorder in their lifetimes, and for many people, such problems begin to manifest themselves before or during high school, according to research published this month in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

Four studies, conducted by the University of Michigan, collected data between February 2001 and April 2003 from 9,282 adults nationwide. Researchers found that anxiety disorders and major depression are among the most common mental illnesses.

An abstract of the article “Lifetime Prevalence and Age-of-Onset Distributions of DSM-IV Disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication” is posted by the Archives of General Psychiatry.

“Half of all lifetime cases start by age 14 years,” one of the studies says. “Whatever else we can say about mental disorders, then, they are distinct from chronic physical disorders because they have their strongest foothold in youth, with substantially lower risk among people who have matured out of the high-risk age range.”

Despite such early origins, a majority of individuals who experience a mental disorder do not receive adequate treatment, the data show.

Of those surveyed, 41 percent reported receiving some treatment, and about 13 percent said they had sought help from a psychiatrist.

Another concern, the researchers report, is the fact that only one-third of the available treatments met minimum published guidelines established by the American Psychiatric Association.

“From a public-health point of view, it’s distressing that so few people are getting treatment,” said Ronald C. Kessler, a professor of health and policy at the Harvard Medical School and the lead author. “It’s not a trivial issue. This is a serious problem.”

According to Mr. Kessler, nearly a third of those surveyed didn’t receive treatment because they didn’t believe they had a problem. The remaining two-thirds either didn’t believe treatment would help or offered reasons for avoiding treatment, such as cost concerns or personal embarrassment.

Related Tags:

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Whole Child Approach to Supporting Positive Student Behavior 
To improve student behavior, it’s important to look at the root causes. Social-emotional learning may play a preventative role.

A whole child approach can proactively support positive student behaviors.

Join this webinar to learn how.
Content provided by Panorama
Recruitment & Retention Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Why Retaining Education Leaders of Color Is Key for Student Success
Today, in the United States roughly 53 percent of our public school students are young people of color, while approximately 80 percent of the educators who lead their classrooms, schools, and districts are white. Racial
Jobs January 2022 Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Student Well-Being Q&A Communications Expert Explains: How to Talk to Parents About COVID Vaccination
A Johns Hopkins University expert discusses a new training project on how to communicate about the sensitive issue.
7 min read
Anti-vaccine mandate protesters rally outside the garage doors of the Los Angeles Unified School District, LAUSD headquarters in Los Angeles on Sept. 9, 2021. The Los Angeles board of education voted to require students 12 and older to be vaccinated against the coronavirus to attend in-person classes in the nation's second-largest school district.
Anti-vaccine mandate protesters rally outside the Los Angeles Unified School District headquarters in September, 2021.
Damian Dovarganes/AP
Student Well-Being What the Research Says New Research Shows How Bad the Pandemic Has Been for Student Mental Health
Researchers say the road to recovery will be a long one.
4 min read
2016 Opinion ELL 840293800
E+/Getty
Student Well-Being Letter to the Editor Policymakers Must Prioritize SEL
SEL is important both to help students overcome challenges caused by the pandemic and to build resilience in the longterm, says this letter to the editor.
1 min read
Illustration of an open laptop receiving an email.
iStock/Getty
Student Well-Being From Our Research Center COVID Precautions in the Cafeteria? 1 in 5 Educators Say Schools 'Not Doing Anything'
An EdWeek Research Center survey finds wide variation in what schools are doing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during mealtimes.
5 min read
Elementary school girl in school cafeteria.
SDI Productions/E+