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The Joys of Childhood: Marred by Stress in MI?

Some adults believe children today are experiencing less close personal friendships than they did while growing up. (Pixabay)
Some adults believe children today are experiencing less close personal friendships than they did while growing up. (Pixabay)
April 21, 2016

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Children today may have better technology and entertainment options than their parents did when growing up, but their health may not be as good.

According to the results of the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health over half of adults polled believe the mental and emotional health of children is worse today than when they were children.

Dr. Matthew Davis headed the research.

"Adults today see that kids are experiencing less close personal friendships, less quality family time than they did when they are growing up,” he points out. “And there's a strong sense that this is contributing to worse mental and emotional health for kids today than in generations past."

Davis recommends parents support their children by offering a safe space to discuss their worries and stresses. He stresses emotional and mental troubles become more difficult to address when they are bottled up.

Meanwhile, the poll also showed 42 percent of adults perceiving children today as having worse physical health than they had when children.

Davis notes that stress in children manifests in different forms. It sometimes is generated in peer relationships or from situations at school or in the home. And stress has short-term and long-term impacts.

"Any type of stress can make it more difficult for a child to thrive, for them to feel good on a daily basis and for them to grow up as individuals who can feel good about themselves and reach out and develop healthy relationships with others," he states.

Davis adds the findings are in line with previous polls that cited bullying, stress, suicide and depression as the top children's health concerns of adults.



Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - MI