High school and college students exhibit more anxiety and mental health problems than young people in the Great Depression, reports a study analyzing survey responses from 1938 to 2007.
Jean Twenge, a San Diego State professor who authored the study, speculates that “a popular culture increasingly focused on the external – from wealth to looks and status – has contributed” to the rise in mental health issues.
In the depths of the Depression, only 1 percent of young people surveyed were considered clinically depressed; by 2007 that was up to six percent.
Twenge said the most current numbers may even be low given all the students taking antidepressants and other psychotropic medications, which help alleviate symptoms the survey asks about.
Are young people more stressed — or more likely to complain about their problems?