Trends in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Prevalence, Outcomes, and Inequalities

  • Stephan CollishawEmail author
  • Ruth Sellers
Living reference work entry
Part of the Mental Health and Illness Worldwide book series (MHIW)


Child and adolescent mental health problems are common and have serious impacts on wellbeing, relationships, education, and long-term health. A public health priority is to reduce the burden associated with mental health problems. This chapter considers changes in the population prevalence of child and adolescent mental health problems, in outcomes for children with mental health problems, and factors that might have contributed to mental health trends. Robust epidemiological evidence suggests some major changes in prevalence over time. Converging evidence points to increasing rates of adolescent emotional disorders. The contribution of socio-economic inequalities, lifestyle changes, social relationships, and family risk is considered. The chapter concludes by highlighting priorities for future research – there is currently limited evidence on child mental health trends in lower- and middle-income countries. There is also a need to develop and apply robust methodologies in time trends research.


Time trends Secular change Prevalence Outcomes Depression Emotional problems Adolescence Global Inequality 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences, School of MedicineCardiff UniversityCardiffUK
  2. 2.Rudd Centre for Adoption Research and Practice, School of PsychologyUniversity of SussexSussexUK

Section editors and affiliations

  • F Verhulst
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Child and Adolescent PsychiatryErasmus UniversityRotterdamThe Netherlands

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