Today’s parents have a lot on their plate as children face an evolving list of issues, but mental health and bullying are among parents’ biggest concerns. File Photo by Jesús Rodríguez/Unsplash
Jan. 24 (UPI) -- Today's parents have a lot on their plate as children face an evolving list of issues, but mental health and bullying are among parents' biggest concerns.
A Pew Research Center survey published Tuesday found that 40% of parents are very worried that their children will struggle with depression or anxiety. Thirty-six percent responded that they were at least somewhat worried.
The study discusses the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects contributing to mental health concerns, but depression and anxiety were becoming more prevalent among youth before the pandemic.
A study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association in March found anxiety in children increased by 27% from 2016 to 2019. Depression increased by 24% in that same time. About 9.2% of children had been diagnosed with a form of anxiety while 4% were diagnosed with depression.
Bullying was not far behind mental health on the minds of parents surveyed. About 35% said they are very concerned their child will be bullied, while 39% said they were somewhat worried.
There were noted differences in how parents felt about these topics, varying by parental roles and demographics.
Overall, mothers were more likely to be concerned than fathers. Black and Hispanic parents were more likely than White and Asian parents to be very concerned that their children would be shot or have issues with police.
Getting in trouble with police had the lowest rate of parents responding that they were "very concerned," followed by getting pregnant/getting someone pregnant and getting shot.
On average, about 2,161 out of 100,000 juveniles were arrested in 2018, according to data from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Black juveniles were more than twice as likely to be arrested.
In 2022, 6,032 children 17 or younger were injured or killed by gunfire, according to the research organization Gun Violence Archive.
When it came to looking at their children's futures, 88% of respondents hoped for them to be financially independent and have a career they enjoyed. About 41% said it was extremely important for their children to earn a college degree. Twenty-one percent answered the same about their children getting married and 20% about their children having children.