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Mental health Coping with stress

When kids feel stress and have no healthy outlet, they may turn to destructive behaviors to let off steam.

Words Can Work offers these facts to remind parents that it’s important to tune in to your kids and help them find safe outlets for their stress and frustration.

• A recent study found that 11- to 13- year-olds report high levels of stress. They feel pressured to achieve academically and in extracurricular activities, and report using alcohol and other drugs to cope. 1

• Growing up is more complicated for children today than ever. 2

• Among adolescents, one in eight may suffer from depression. 3

• Many children are stressed by being overscheduled. 4

• Many parents simply do not recognize the symptoms of depression in their adolescent children. 5

• Stress in children is increased by the sense that they live in an unsafe world, as they are often warned to be cautious about kidnapping, sexual abuse and other crimes. 4

• Teenage girls are more likely to develop depression than teenage boys. 7

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1 Child Development, September/October 2002, Volume 73, Number 5, Pages 1593-1610
2 James A.H. Farrow, M.D., professor of pediatrics at Tulane University
3 NIMH, 2000
4 American Academy of Pediatrics 2000
5 The Brown University Child and Adolescent Behavior Letter, Vol. 18, No 4, April 2002
7 NIMH 2000

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