Report says 2.7 Million Children Have Emotional or Behavioral Problems
A recently released report called "America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being 2005" indicates that nearly five percent — or an estimated 2-point-7 million children, are reported by their parents to suffer from definite or severe emotional or behavioral difficulties.
Thornton: A recently released report called "America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being 2005" indicates that nearly five percent — or an estimated 2-point-7 million children, are reported by their parents to suffer from definite or severe emotional or behavioral difficulties: leading to problems that may interfere with their family life, their ability to learn, and their formation of friendships. According to the report, these difficulties may persist throughout a child's development and lead to lifelong disability. Doctor Susan Swedo (SWEE-doh) is the director of Pediatric Translational Research and Treatment Development at the National Institute of Mental Health.
Swedo: This is not surprising to us, and in fact it's in keeping with reports from smaller community-based samples. But having this large population-based survey is important information. Interestingly, approximately two times as many boys as girls were fel by their parentst to be affected with these difficulties. There were no striking racial differences, however poverty was certainly a factor with nearly two times as many children living below the poverty line having difficulties as those who were not.
Thornton: The report is the government's 9th annual monitoring of the well-being of the nation's children and youth, which showed that the adolescent birth rate has reached another record low, children are less likely to die in the first four years of life, young children are more likely to receive their recommended immunizations, and elementary school age children are scoring better in math. It was compiled by the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, and presents a comprehensive look at critical areas of child well-being, including health status, behavior and social environment, economic security, and education. The full text of the report is available on the forum's website, childstats.gov. From the National Institutes of Health, I'm Matt Thornton in Bethesda, Maryland.
About This Audio Report
Reporter: Matt Thornton
Sound Bite: Dr. Susan Swedo
Topic: Children, Mental Health