More than half of American adults believe that children have worse mental health, have less quality family time, and are more stressed than past generations. The nationally representative research was announced by the University of Michigan (UM). Researchers based their findings on the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health, which surveyed 2,700 adults.
“We have seen major advances in medicine and public health over the last century that have greatly reduced children’s illness and death. On the other hand, conditions like childhood obesity, asthma and behavior problems have become more common,” said Matthew M. Davis, M.D., M.A.P.P., the poll’s director and a professor of pediatrics and internal medicine at the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.
“We wanted to know how the public perceives these trends, so we conducted this latest national poll to gain insights into adults’ perceptions of children’s health today, ” Davis said. “We found that adults in the U.S. broadly agree: children’s health today seems worse than for children over the past several decades.”
Personal friendships, and coping skills physical health were also widely considered to be worse for children today than in the past. The poll found that 42 adults perceive children as having worse physical health than they had in their childhoods.
Perceptions of children’s health also varied with different generations. Adults ages 70 and older were most likely to believe that children’s physical health is better today than when they are growing up, while those 69 and under were less likely to see children’s physical health as better today than in the past.