According to a new study by the Journal of American Pediatrics, most adults do not think children are better off than they were when they were growing up. Mental health, bullying, security and obesity issues are more pronounced than in previous generations, and these and other challenges present a discouraging picture: a generation that seems worse than its parents.
The study found that less than one-third of adults report that today's physical health of children is better than theirs as children, and only 14% think children's mental health is better now.
The study, conducted by C.S. Mott Children's Hospital and the Children's Hospital Association, used data from a 2016 national survey of children's health at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital. The researchers analyzed the aggregate opinions of the adults interviewed and examined the responses of the generational groups, using: Generation Y (aged 18 to 34), Generation X (35 to 50), Baby Boomers (51 to 70 years) and baby boomers (70 years and over). The study found:
While 30% of baby boomers believe that children's physical health is better than when they grow up, less than 20% of Millennials feel the same way.
Neither Generation Xers nor Generation Y believe that the quality of health care for today's children is better than that of children
Compared to adulthood, less than 15% of adults think that children's chances of growing up with good mental health in adulthood are better.
Providing children with a better future than the generation before them is an important part of the American dream. The authors of the study say that these perceptions among adults mean that society must invest more in the physical and mental health of children.