Compared to the 1930s, five times as many American high school and college students are struggling with anxiety and other mental health issues, according to a new study.
Researchers reviewed the responses of 77,576 high school or college students who completed the Minnesota Multiphase Personality Inventory questionnaire between 1938 and 2007, the Associated Press reported.
The findings showed that, overall, an average of five times as many students in 2007 surpassed thresholds in one or more mental health categories, compared with students in 1938. In two areas, six times as many students in 2007 scored much higher in two areas:
- The rate of hypomania (a measure of anxiety and unrealistic optimism) was found in 31 percent of students in 2007, compared with 5 percent in 1938.
- The rate of depression among students was 6 percent in 2007 and 1 percent in 1938.
The study also found that 24 percent of students in 2007 scored high in a category called "psychopathic deviation" -- defined as having trouble with authority and feeling that rules don't apply to you -- compared with 5 percent of students in 1938, the AP reported.
The findings were released Monday, and the study will appear in a future issue of the journal Clinical Psychology Review.