Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine 2003; 20(2):56-58
With thanks to the MedMedia Group for their support for this project and for giving permission to reproduce the article, which was originally published in the Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine.
P. Mcardle, J. Prosser, H. Dickinson, I. Kolvin, "Secular trends in the mental health of primary school children", Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine, Volume 20, No. 2, pp. 56-58 (MedMedia Group, 2003).
Over the recent past, reports have argued that there has been a decline in the mental health of children and young people in Western societies. This is said to have occurred gradually over the second half of the last century and possibly longer. This view is based on evidence of a progressively declining peak age for adult type depressive disorders, and an apparent increase in adolescent disturbance such as substance abuse, attempted and completed suicide, perhaps eating disorder, and behaviour disorders. These phenomena have been attributed to the major changes in social values and behaviour, with their impact on child rearing and family life that gathered pace over the course of the last century.