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Academic Decline in Elementary School May Lead to Teenage Depression

Published on: 21st March 2018

Findings published in The British Journal of Psychiatry showed that children whose grades declined throughout elementary and high school were more likely to develop depression in adolescence, and self-harm was only linked to declining grades during high school.

“The link between education and mental health is generally believed to be complex and reciprocal, with academic success giving a strong subjective sense of children feeling good about themselves and being linked to higher levels of well-being in adulthood and poor academic attainment been identified as co-occurring with symptoms,” Muhammad A. Rahman, PhD, of The Farr Institute, Swansea University, and colleagues wrote. “However, studies exploring this issue have been limited in the extent to which they take coexisting problems into account and fewer studies have explored these associations over time.”

To determine the relationship between grades and subsequent depression diagnosis or self-harm in adolescence, the investigators examined general practice, hospital and educational records of Welsh youth aged 5 to 20 years between 1999 and 2014. Using diagnosis and symptom codes for depression and self-harm in those aged 12 years and older, researchers analyzed mental health outcomes, which were adjusted for confounders. Data were available for 652,903 young people, of which 33,498 developed depression and 15,946 experienced self-harm from age 12 to 20 years.

Read the full article here.

Enquiries to Sarah Toomey, Communications Officer, Farr Institute CIPHER,s.toomey@swansea.ac.uk


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