Rate of Depression is Double for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Youth


May 8, 2018, News

Kidsdata.org, a program of the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, has released data about the emotional health of LGBTQ+ youth as part of their Youth in Schools series.

Depression is one of the most common emotional health problems among youth, with an estimated 11% of U.S. adolescents diagnosed with depression by age 18. An alarming 61% of youth who identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual have felt depressed in the previous year in contrast to 29% of their peers who identify as straight. These students, who are in grades 7th, 9th, or 11th grade or are in non-traditional programs, felt so sad or hopeless almost every day for two weeks or more that they stopped doing their usual activities.

Disparities among youth who experience depression-related feelings vary widely across student groups. Students with particularly high percentages of depression-related feelings include those in non-traditional schools, those with low levels of school connectedness, those whose parents did not graduate from high school, and American Indian/Alaskan Native or Hispanic students.

Go to the Kidsdata.org website to learn more about this research, filter the data by county, or view data in table, bar graph, map, and pie chart formats.

Kidsdata.org promotes the health and well being of children in California. For more information on children’s emotional health, see Kidsdata.org’s Research & Links section.

Data Source: WestEd, California Healthy Kids Survey. California Department of Education (Jul. 2017)


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