Kid with backpack

Link – Mental health data shows stark difference between girls and boys

This is a strange study.

As reported earlier this week, the results of a study by University College London and the University of Liverpool show a discrepancy between the emotional problems perceived by parents and the feelings expressed by their children. Researchers asked parents to report signs of emotional problems in their children at various ages; they also presented the children at age 14 with a series of questions to detect symptoms of depression.

In a nutshell, and you can go look at it yourself, parents seem to be more likely to identify symptoms in boys then the boys self-express them, and the opposite is true for girls. Yet, girls are much more likely to get help, report self-harm, etc. while boys are much more likely to not get help and commit suicide.

Is this a situation where young girls being “emotional” don’t really concern parents, and boys aren’t as good at expressing emotion and getting help, until it’s too late?

The one thing I will say, and I’ve said it before, is that we need better descriptions for depression symptoms than we have now. Young boys will generally not display depression in the way we picture it in the media, instead being likely to act with inappropriate aggression, which we don’t identify as depression. Perhaps if we did, some of these outcomes would look quite different.

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