Infectious Disease

More than three-fourths of parents call for depression screenings in schools

ADD TOPIC TO EMAIL ALERTS

Receive an email when new articles are posted on

Please provide your email address to receive an email when new articles are posted on . ” data-action=subscribe> Subscribe

We were unable to process your request. Please try again later. If you continue to have this issue please contact customerservice@slackinc.com.

Back to Healio

More than 76% of parents of middle and high school students in New Jersey said that depression screenings in school are necessary, according to a survey conducted by Rutgers University.

In March, the Rutgers Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling conducted a study of 678 parents of adolescents aged 12 to 18 years as part as its Project ASPEN initiative, a collaboration with the National Alliance on Mental Illness of New Jersey.

Source: Adobe Stock.

“Rates of psychological distress among young people, including symptoms of anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders have increased significantly in recent years and are further exacerbated due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, yet rates of adolescent depression screening remain extremely low despite knowing early detection is effective in preventing long-term effects,” Itzhak Yanovitzky, PhDRutgers University professor of communications and coauthor of the report, said in a press release.

The survey asked parents about their degree of concern regarding their child’s risk for depression and suicide; their degree of concern in identifying depression and suicide symptoms; their beliefs regarding potential benefits of depression screenings in schools; their specific concerns about screenings; and how likely they were to consent to the screenings.

More than 75% of parents said they recognized the importance and value of depression screenings in preventing a serious mental health issue, drug or alcohol abuse, and poor academic performance. A total of 76.4% said such screenings are necessary.

However, between 25% and 45% of parents said they believe in potential undesirable outcomes, such as leading to students believing that something is wrong with them, the overprescribing of antidepressants and taking up class time.

Parents were also asked their likelihood of giving schools permission to screen their child for depression. A total of 32.4% said they were very likely to give consent; 33.5% said they were likely; 15% said they were not sure; 7.1% said they were unlikely; and 12.3% said they were very unlikely.

There was no statistical significance in responses to the question of consent to screenings in terms of race/ethnicity, income or educational background. However, there was a difference by region of the state. A greater percentage of parents from shore communities (29.9%) and the South (22.8%) said they were unlikely or very unlikely to give consent. Parents from urban (9.2%), suburban (16.9%) and exurban (20.6%) regions of the state reported they were likely or very likely to consent to depression screenings.

References:

Project ASPEN. New Jersey parents’ views of adolescent depression screening. https://aspen.rutgers.edu. Posted Spring 2022. Accessed July 1, 2022.

ADD TOPIC TO EMAIL ALERTS

Receive an email when new articles are posted on

Please provide your email address to receive an email when new articles are posted on . ” data-action=subscribe> Subscribe

We were unable to process your request. Please try again later. If you continue to have this issue please contact customerservice@slackinc.com.

Back to Healio

Related Articles