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Poll: Adults believe children more stressed than previous generations :

April 18, 2016

Most adults believe children’s mental and emotional health are worse today than when they were young, according to a new poll.

They also feel today’s children spend less quality time with their families, the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health found.

Researchers aimed to see how the public perceives the latest health trends compared to past generations, according to Matthew M. Davis, M.D., M.A.P.P., director of the poll and professor of pediatrics and internal medicine at the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

“We have seen major advances in medicine and public health over the last century that have greatly reduced children’s illness and death,” Dr. Davis said in a news release. “On the other hand, conditions like childhood obesity, asthma and behavior problems have become more common.”

In the poll, conducted in partnership with the Children's Hospital Association, adults compared children’s health today to their generation. It found:

  • 65% feel today’s children have less quality family time;
  • 64% feel today’s children have more stress;
  • 55% feel today’s children’s mental and emotional health are worse;
  • 52% feel today’s children are less able to cope and stay positive;
  • 42% feel today’s children have lower quality of friendships; and
  • 42% feel today’s children’s physical health is worse.

However, perceptions varied by generation. Respondents age 70 and older were more likely than younger adults to view children’s health today in a positive light.

“The dominant view from this poll is that children’s health is worse today than it was for generations past, and we need to more urgently address these challenges,” Children’s Hospital Association CEO and President Mark Wietecha said in a news release.

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