One in 10
children diagnosed with mental illness
by staff reporter
in 10 British children have been diagnosed with a mental illness,
according to government statistics.
survey of 7,977 children from the Office for National Statistics
found four per cent of children had being diagnosed with an emotional
disorder (anxiety or depression), six per cent with a conduct disorder,
two per cent with a hyperkinetic disorder, and one per cent with
a less common disorder (including autism, tics, eating disorders
and selective mutism).
per cent of children had been diagnosed with more than one type
were more likely than girls to have been diagnosed with a mental
disorder. Among 5-10 year olds, 10 per cent of boys and five per
cent of girls were diagnosed with a mental disorder.
11-16 year olds, the proportions were 13 per cent for boys and 10
per cent for girls.
mental disorders was greater among children in lone parent families
(16 per cent) than among those in two parent families (8 per cent),
and in families with neither parent working (20 per cent) compared
with those in which both parents worked (8 per cent).
per cent of children whose parent had no educational qualifications
had been diagnosed with a mental disorder compared with four per
cent of children where the parent had a degree level qualification.
per cent of children aged 5-16 had been diagnosed with autistic
spectrum disorder. The majority of these children were boys (82
Unlike children diagnosed with the more common disorders, autistic
children tended to have more highly qualified parents than other
children: 46 per cent had parents with qualifications above GCSE
compared with 35 per cent of other children.
autistic children were less likely to live in low income families:
only nine per cent lived in households with a gross weekly income
of less than £200 per week compared with 20 per cent of other
Office For National Statistics'
Mental health of children and young people in Great Britain, 2004
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