24-Hour Crisis Line: 1-888-279-8188
24-Hour Crisis Line:
Follow Us:  Facebook-logo

Family Guidance Blog

Frequent Moving Takes a Toll on Low-Income Children

Children Mental Health 1It’s often a difficult decision to pick up and move one’s family to another location. Though, sometimes circumstances don’t leave much of a choice. It’s not uncommon for parents to be concerned about uprooting their school-aged children, especially when they have already formed strong friendships and emotional bonds with students at their current school. But what about children under 5 who haven’t officially started attending classes yet?

Research shows that children of lower income families seem to be most affected by the process of moving. A study conducted by investigators at Cornell University in partnership with the National Employment Law Project uncovered that although moving is something that many of us experience at some point over the course of our lifetimes, children living in poverty are forced to relocate three times or more before their fifth birthday. Many experience more problems with depression, anxiety, and paying attention.

As part of the investigation covered in a recent Psych Central report, researchers examined data for over 2,800 children taken from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study. They were particularly concerned with the impact of persistent relocations on children’s preparedness for coursework in a classroom setting.

Data indicates that families in the lower income bracket tend to move more frequently than others, and that the housing crisis and tumbling job market have driven low-income families to seek out work and affordable housing wherever they can find it. Study results also showed that increased behavioral issues only seemed to occur amongst children of low-income families.

Moving can be stressful. If you or someone you know has been forced to relocate several times with young children, assistance for problems like anxiety, depression or related mental health conditions can be found at the Family Guidance Center. Mental health professionals are available to all, regardless of income, and can help provide families and children with mental health support they need adjusting to a new environment. For more information on relocation assistance, contact the Family Guidance Center.

Teens with ADHD Have Higher Likelihood of Substance Abuse

ADHD is a mental disorder that is common in children.  It is estimated that up to five percent of children throughout the globe are affected by it, and as many as half of these youths will have symptoms that persist into adulthood. In one of the largest studies to date on adolescent ADHD, researchers have also uncovered a strong link between the condition and use of alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco.

The study involved researchers from six health centers across the country in conjunction with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Over the course of eight years, investigators analyzed close to 600 children as they transitioned into adulthood. The study is the first to uncover the higher prevalence of tobacco use amongst ADHD-teens. And, as a PsychCentral article on the subject points out, cigarette use is often tied to use of alcohol and marijuana.

Lead study author, Dr. Brook Molina says that findings highlight the fact that both girls and boys with ADHD are at higher risk for substance abuse than other children without ADHD. Researchers uncovered that when affected teens reached about 15 years of age, over a third admittedly were engaging in some form of substance use as opposed to only 20 percent of their non-ADHD peers.

Not surprisingly, high rates of alcohol use were common in teens of both groups. However, marijuana and tobacco consumption was significantly higher in those with ADHD. Marijuana use was nearly twice as prevalent in ADHD participants with an average age of 17 as it was in other teens, with usage rates at 13 and 7 percent respectively. Additionally, daily cigarette intake for the ADHD group was 17 percent, whereas the non-ADHD group only had 8 percent that smoked every day by comparison.

Results of the study suggest that children with ADHD are likely to develop unhealthy coping mechanisms to compensate for problems caused by the disease. Early diagnosis is key, and mental health professionals at the Family Guidance Center offer screenings daily.

Experts agree that there are many ways to minimize negative outcomes from the disorder. If you have a child with ADHD, contact the Family Guidance Center to learn more about managing the symptoms for a healthy, quality life.

Self-Esteem’s Role in Mental Health

Self Esteem 1A growing body of evidence suggests that self-esteem is in some way connected to anxiety and depression. But the nature of the relationship amongst the three has not been entirely clear. Like the chicken and egg syndrome, it is not known whether poor self-esteem is a risk factor contributing to anxiety and depression, or rather if these illnesses themselves cause a person to develop low self-esteem.

Researcher Julia Friederike Sowislo of  Switzerland’s University of Basel sought to better understand the complex relationship that self-esteem has with anxiety and depression. She examined a total of 95 studies on the topics of anxiety and depression to learn more.

What Sowislo uncovered was that self-esteem had a very different link to depression than it did to anxiety. Research showed that low self-esteem had a much more pronounced effect on depression than vice versa. However, when it came to analysis of how self-esteem and anxiety interacted, there was an equal relationship. Poor self-esteem was just as likely to produce heightened levels of anxiety as elevated anxiety was to result in low self-esteem.

According to Sowislo, there are several explanations for why bad self-esteem increases the risk for depression. Those with poor self-esteem, for instance, may have a tendency to constantly focus on the negative. Another possibility is that individuals experiencing low self-esteem may become depressed because of an unmet need for reassurance. Sowislo also says that depression can raise the potential for low self-esteem as depressed individuals tend to look for negative feedback, a factor contributing to one’s outlook.

According to a recent article, the results of the study underscore the importance of confronting issues of self-esteem when helping individuals with depression. Depression and anxiety are common mental illnesses that are treated with a high rate of success. With help from mental health professionals at Family Guidance Center, those living with these mental health problems can get the help they need to live a full and meaningful life.