Survey conducted in July 2020 shows one in six children having a probable mental disorder
Notes for editors
- Both the 2017 survey and this 2020 follow-up used the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) to assess different aspects of mental health, including problems with emotions, behaviour, relationships, hyperactivity, and concentration. Responses from parents, children and young people were used to estimate the likelihood that a child might have a mental disorder, this was classified as either ‘unlikely’, ‘possible’ or ‘probable’.
- It is important to note that while the probable mental disorder prevalence estimates presented in this report are based on the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), the initial Mental Health survey of Children and Young People 2017 reported on a different and more detailed diagnostic assessment of mental disorder (even though the SDQ was also used) and drew on a larger sample (9,117 children and young people, aged 2 to 19 years old). Therefore, any comparisons between 2017 and 2020 must draw on the results presented in this report, which are based on a comparable measure of the SDQ using children that were aged between 5 to 16 years at the time of each survey.
- This survey is a follow-up to the 2017 survey, with responses submitted online rather than taken face-to-face like the 2017 main survey. It was decided that the SDQ was more suited to a shorter survey conducted online in 2020, which still gave robust estimates on children and young people’s mental health. Therefore, 2017 SDQ estimates were also produced for the 3,570 sample for the MHCYP 2020 report to allow like-for-like comparisons over time.
- The findings in this report are based on survey data collected from a sample of 3,570 children and young people aged between 5 and 22 years old in July 2020. These have been weighted so they are representative for all children in this age group in England at this point in time. These children also took part in the MHCYP 2017 survey which had a bigger sample.
- The data is broken down by gender and age bands of 5 to 10 year olds and 11 to 16 year olds for all categories and 17 to 22 years old for certain categories, as well as by whether a child is unlikely to have a mental health disorder, possibly has a mental health disorder and probably has a mental health disorder.
- The National Centre for Social Research is Britain’s largest independent social research agency. The Office for National Statistics is the UK’s largest independent producer of official statistics and the recognised national statistical institute of the UK.
- Please refer to the Survey Design and Methods Report for more detail on any of the survey methodology: http://digital.nhs.uk/pubs/mhcypsurvey2020w1
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Last edited: 22 October 2020 8:11 am