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Family Update, Online!

Volume 04  Issue 10 11 March 2003
Topic: Children Feeling Down

Family Fact: Suicide

Family Quote: Depressed Teens

Family Research Abstract: In a Down Mood

Family Fact of the Week: Suicide TOP of PAGE

Suicide is the number three cause of death among children aged 10 to 19.  In the Year 2000, 1921 teenagers took their own lives.  For the sub-group aged 15 10 19, this accounted for 12 percent of the total deaths.

(Source: Robert N. Anderson, "Deaths: Leading Causes for 2000," National Vital Statistics Report, Vol. 50, No. 16, September 16, 2002, p.13; http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr50/nvsr50_16.pdf.) 

Family Quote of the Week: Depressed Teens TOP of PAGE

"Four out of five parents say they are concerned about the problem of depression and suicide among teenagers. They believe this is both a public health and a public safety problem.  Surprisingly, 90% of parents indicate they are confident in being able to tell if their child was depressed or thinking about suicide. Yet, in reality, only one-third of teens with mental health problems are known to parents or any adult."  

(Source: "National Initiative Launched for Early Detection of Teen Depression and Suicide Risk," Columbia University TeenScreen Program and the Positive Action for Teen Health (PATH) initiative, February 20, 2003; http://teenscreen.org/resources/press1.html.) 

For More Information TOP of PAGE

The Howard Center and The World Congress of Families stock a number of pro-family books, including Day Care: Child Psychology and Adult Economics, edited by Dr. Bryce Christensen. Please visit:

    The Howard Center Bookstore   

 Call: 1-815-964-5819    USA: 1-800-461-3113    Fax: 1-815-965-1826    Contact: Bookstore 

934 North Main Street Rockford, Illinois 61103

Family Research Abstract of the Week: In a Down Mood TOP of PAGE

Child psychologists do not lack for work in areas where the divorce lawyers are busy and the single-parent households are numerous.  Family background stands out as a strong predictor of psychological distress in a study recently published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry by a team of epidemiologists from the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands.   Analyzing data collected from a statistically weighted sample of 403 children, the Dutch scholars looked for "psychosocial risk factors" predicting "child psychopathology."  The data clearly established that "living in a single-parent family and having a life event [such as a serious illness, a parental divorce, or the death of a family member] were the most important predictors of mood and anxiety disorders."  What is more, these psychological problems were not short-lived: psychological diagnoses made when the children were 5 to 6 years old "corresponded well" with diagnoses made one and a half years later.

(Source: Marielle Kroes et al., "A Longitudinal Community Study: Do Psychosocial Risk Factors and Child Behavior Checklist Scores at 5 Years of Age Predict Psychiatric Diagnoses at a Later Age?" Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 41[2002]: 955-963, emphasis added.)


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