a) In the recent years, it was shown that the amount of youth suffering from mental issues have been on the rise. Mental issues are considered as a category where it comprises a wide spectrum of problems with different symptoms. They are generally characterized by some combination of abnormal thoughts, emotions, behavior and relationship with others. For example: problems like depression, social anxiety and in the worst case, schizophrenia ("Mental disorders", 2017). The following paragraphs are going to focus on the causes and prevalence of mental issues among the youth.
One of the causes for rise in youth with mental issues was found to be associated with their family, mainly their parents and how their actions affect their child’s mental development. Parents are the main and most important socializing agent a child has, which results in them being more susceptible to maternal distress, family difficulties and the lack of family support when they need it during their early childhood (Karevold, Røysamb, Ystrom & Mathiesen, 2009).
Firstly, there were studies regarding mother and child interaction relating to the child’s frontal brain development that has found that child of a depressed mother has a higher risk of developing emotional problems (Dawson et al., 1999; Forbes et al., 2006; Henderson, Fox, & Rubin, 2001). This finding can be explained with Mead’s imitation and role play theory. Where it states that a child goes through 3 stages of imitation and child play, and preparatory stage comes first. This stage occurs during childhood and is where a child imitates people’s action without knowing the meaning. And with the parent being the first socializing agent they have, they start of their childhood with mimicking their parents. Thus a child will mimic any reactions their depressed mother might have, which in turns increases the risk of the child developing depression as well.
Secondly, family difficulties and the lack in social support was found to increase the level of maternal distress, which in turns affects a child’s mental health (Essex et al., 2006; Thompson, Flood, & Goodvin, 2006). These variables are interdependent as studies have also shown that maternal distress can also cause family problems (Essex et al., 2006; Rutter, Moffitt, & Caspi, 2006) and having social support eases the impact of family problems (Rodgers & Rose, 2002; Thompson et al., 2006). It was shown that increase in maternal distress causes the mothers to be less responsive and less emotionally invested in their children and thus increasing their children’s level of negative emotionality or shyness, which increases the risk of them developing internalizing problems (Cicchetti & Toth, 1998).
Parental Social Economic Status (SES) and Surrounding Neighborhood
Parental SES and the surrounding neighborhood the family is located in were also found to have effects on a child’s mental health. Family with a lower SES are not able to afford better housing in a...