Parent behaviors linked to kids' anxiety, depression


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Young people whose parents tend to fight with each other or are over involved in their kids' lives are at increased risk of depression and anxiety, according to a new comprehensive review of past studies.

Kids tend to first experience depression or anxiety between ages 12 and 18, the authors write. They reviewed 181 papers published on potential links between how parents behave and which young people experience either disorder.

It's impossible to say how important parenting is relative to other factors that might influence depression and anxiety, like bullying at school, study author Marie Yap said, but "it is clear from the wider body of research that by virtue of their role and presence in children's lives . . . parents have an incredibly important role, both directly and indirectly."

Yap led the study at the Population Mental Health Group at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health in Australia.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, depression affects between 5 percent and 10 percent of adolescents and anxiety, which may include panic disorders, affects about 25 percent of teens.

In the new analysis, stronger links were seen between parenting and depression, including sad moods and decreased interest in activities, as compared to anxiety.

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