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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

What parents worry about

Depression and anxiety are the top worries of parents, according to a Pew Research Center survey, report Rachel Minkin and Juliana Menasce Horowitz.

Amid fears of a growing youth mental health crisis, parents worry about their children's mental health, followed by bullying and physical threats, they write.


The dangers of drugs and alcohol and teen pregnancy rank lower.


"When asked about their aspirations for their children when they reach adulthood, parents prioritize financial independence and career satisfaction," write Minkin and Horowitz.


Forty-one percent say it’s extremely or very important that their children earn a college degree, but there are "sharp differences by race and ethnicity" on that measure.


While 70 percent of Asian-American parents say earning a college degree is extremely or very important, that drops to 57 percent for Hispanic parents, 51 percent for Black parents and a surprisingly low 29 percent for White parents.


“It’s the parents with some college (that is, they attended college but didn’t attain a four-year degree) who place somewhat less importance on this,” said Kim Parker, Pew's director of social and demographic trends research. “Only a third say it’s extremely or very important to them that their child graduate from college. This is a group that tends to have high levels of college debt, which may be feeding into these attitudes.”


Those with post-graduate degrees are the most eager for their children to complete college, she said.


I'm still puzzled about why so few White parents see a college degree as important.


Only one in five parents places a high priority on their children marrying and having children, according to the survey. (My Grandma B was not polled.)

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