Children With Chronic Illness Are Prone To Mental Illness In Early Adolescence

Mental Health News: New research reveals that chronic illness in childhood is linked to higher rates of mental illness in early adolescence when compared to healthy children.

The new study published in Development and Psychopathology is a review of a sample of approximately 7000 children to examine the occurrence of mental health problems, including anxiety or depression, and chronic illness.

Researchers measured chronic illness based on mothers assessing their child’s health at 10 and 13. The measure included children presenting with minor health issues. In the control group were children reported by their mothers to be ‘healthy, no problems’.

Results of the review showed that children reported having chronic health conditions like asthma were approximately twice as likely at 10 and at 13 to present with a mental health disorder than the control group. At age 15, children with chronic health problems were 60% more likely to present with such disorders.

This study provides strong evidence that there is a link between chronic health conditions and mental health problems in the years of late childhood and early adolescence. According to the study author Dr Ann Marie Brady, the impact of long-term illnesses on mental health is concerning and the first impact can be seen even before adolescence, in late childhood.

To Know More, You May Refer To:

Brady AM, Deighton J, Stansfeld S. Chronic illness in childhood and early adolescence: A longitudinal exploration of co-occurring mental illness. Dev Psychopathol. 2020 May 4:1-14. doi: 10.1017/S0954579420000206. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32362290.

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