Wednesday, 8 June 2016

How urban settings affect kids' mental health

A new study links neighborhoods with crime and low social cohesion with higher rates of psychosis in children.

Psychosis is a severe mental disorder in which thought and emotions are so impaired that contact is lost with external reality.

Researchers from Duke University and King’s College London built upon previous research that established a connection between mental health and urban surroundings, studying 2,232 British twins from birth to age 12.

Their results showed that 4.4 percent of non-urban children displayed psychotic symptoms at age 12, while urban 12-year-olds displayed such symptoms at a rate of 7.4 percent. Psychotic symptoms, while often temporary in childhood, are associated with a range of mental illness issues in adulthood, researchers said.

Researchers found that the higher rates were associated with low social cohesion and social control, meaning the lack of community and low ability of community members to fix social problems.

Psychotic symptoms were also associated with high crime and victimization levels as well as "high neighborhood disorder," defined as neighborhoods plagued by problems such as noise, vandalism and graffiti.

My word: As much as you can, make sure that your children live in a conducive environment especially in their growing years.