Prioritizing mental well-being is crucial as you age, but alarming new research highlights just how important it is to monitor in kids.
Researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed answers from the 2011-2012 National Survey of Children's Health and found that one in seven children experiences a psychological disorder, which is classified as a mental, behavioral or development problem.
The data -- based on more than 35,000 children ages 2 to 8 -- looks at parents' responses about their child's language problems, learning disabilities, reported ADHD, anxiety, depression and more.
The findings revealed that kids with psychological disorders were less likely than others to have comprehensive and continuous medical-care access. Additionally, children living in poverty as well as those with parents with a mental health disorder were more likely to have an issue, according to the study's authors. The psychological issues also affected more boys than girls.
"Based on the number of kids affected, this is something we need to pay attention to," lead researcher Jennifer Kaminski, team leader for child development studies at the CDC, said in a statement.
The prevalence of the disorders varied by state, according to HealthDay. California had the lowest rates of the disorders, with 10.6 percent of children reportedly experiencing issues. Arkansas and Kentucky had some of the highest rates. Washington D.C. had the highest rate of poor parental mental health.
Previous research suggests children are exposed to stressors at an increasingly young age and it could have dangerous consequences as they grow older, putting them at risk for a host of physical and mental health issues. Some studies suggest exposure to high-levels of stress in the womb could have lasting effects for a child once they're born.
Yet another important reason to give mental health the serious, sensitive attention it deserves.
The study was published in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.