Adolescents in Middle School: Part 2

Originally posted March 12, 2010 and has been updated
By: Philippe Rey, Psy.D. Executive Director
Let’s take a look at data from the California Adolescent Health Collaborative, which sheds light on issues affecting adolescents during the ages they are in middle school. Source:
  • Major depression strikes about 1 in 12 adolescents. Among those adolescents that develop major depression, 1 in 14 will commit suicide as a young adult.
  • In California and throughout the United States, suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15-to-24 yr olds and the fourth leading cause of death for 10-to-14 year olds
  • More than half of U.S. high school graduates will have tried an illegal drug by the end of 12th grade. Substance use in adolescents is associated with psychiatric conditions, such as mood disorders, conduct disorder, ADHD, eating disorders, and psychosis, as well as motor vehicle accidents, homicides, suicides, fights, unsafe sexual activities, and blood-borne infections (hepatitis B, C, and HIV)
  • Data from a 2006 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reveals that 8% of adolescents 12-17 are dependent on/abused alcohol or illicit drugs.
  • A recent research study funded by National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), found that early identification of mental health risk factors can predict up to 80% of adolescents who are going to develop psychosis.
  • In 2000, almost 1 in ten of California adolescents ages 12-17 (11%), received psychological counseling. However, research suggests that nearly half a million young people in California have unmet mental health needs. In California, mental illness is the most common cause of hospitalization for persons between the ages of 10 and 24, with the exception of childbirth, and is the second leading cause of disability for young adults
  • Research has shown that unrecognized or untreated mental and emotional health disorders increase adolescents’ risk of school failure and dropout, alcohol and drug use, HIV transmission, somatic ailments, and an array of other difficulties.
  • Publicly funded county mental health programs reach only 2% of the 13 to 17 year old population.
  • When adolescents do receive care, the services they receive are often inappropriate. Mental health services are too often crisis-driven, leaving many adolescents without timely preventive care.
•Statistics on Adolescent Mental Health by county (San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties)
  • In 2011, for age group (13-15) there were 20 reported cases of self-inflicted injuries in San Mateo County, there were 26 reported cases in the Santa Clara County
  • In San Mateo County, between 2008-2011, (28.8%) female and (22.9%) male adolescents in 7th grade reported depression-related feelings. In Santa Clara County, between 2008-2011, (27%) female and (21%) male adolescents in 7th grade reported depression-related feelings


Part 3 will review signs and symptoms of teen depression and anxiety.


Click Here to read Adolescents in Middle School: Part 1

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