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How Parents Can Address the Spike in Tween Depression

 

ACCORDING TO A RECENT report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the suicide rate for children ages 10 to 14 nearly tripled from 2007 to 2017, while the number of 12- to 17-year-olds who experienced a major depressive episode in the past year increased by more than 50%.

Tweens often get lumped in with older teens in studies, but they possess distinct characteristics and needs. Researchers reported in the journal Pediatrics, for example, that while 50% of parents were unaware of their 11- to 17-year old’s suicidal thoughts, younger adolescents were more likely than older teens to deny their pain. Younger teens and preteens also are more likely to have trouble distinguishing between the normal mood fluctuations associated with puberty and clinical depression, and they’re more likely than older teens to have difficulty articulating their sadness.

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