Children of the new century: mental health findings from the Millennium Cohort Study

GUTMAN Leslie Morrison, et al
Centre for Mental Health
Publication year:
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This report sets out early findings from a three year project on children’s mental health. The findings relate mainly to the mental health of children around the age of 11 as recorded in the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS), a multipurpose longitudinal study which is following a large sample of children born in the UK at the start of the 21st century. The data were collected mainly in 2012. The report shows that children from the lowest income families are four times more likely to have mental health problems than those from the highest earning backgrounds. It also suggests that not living with both natural parents is associated with mental health problems in children. Geography too has an impact – 11-year-olds in Scotland have a significantly lower prevalence of hyperactivity and peer problems than those in the rest of the UK. The figures also show that rates of mental ill health are similar to those found in previous surveys from 1999 and 2004, and if anything slightly lower. Despite concerns about growing levels of mental ill health among children, these figures imply that overall prevalence is falling slightly but that levels of distress are still far higher than available services are able to deal with. Finally, the study shows that mental health problems are twice as common among boys aged 11 than girls, with behavioural problems occurring much more frequently among boys than girls. (Edited publisher abstract)

Subject terms:
mental health problems, children, socioeconomic groups, low income, longitudinal studies;
Content type:
United Kingdom
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