In this Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018 photo, a student works on her 6th grade assignment for English. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

UBC team to probe why kids find transition to high school stressful

Researchers at UBC’s Depression, Anxiety and Stress Lab are hoping families can help

The transition from elementary school to high school can be stressful, and just like other major life changes, it can put children at greater risk for depression, anxiety and other psychiatric illnesses.

Researchers at the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Lab at UBC are looking to figure out why some youth struggle more than others and hope families with pre-teens can help.

Ellen Jopling, a master’s candidate in clinical psychology, said in a news release Tuesday that 11.5 per cent of kids will have experienced a depressive episode by the end of the first year of high school. By the time they graduate, 40 per cent of kids will have struggled with a psychiatric illness.

“Meeting criteria for a psychiatric disorder in high school means you are three times more likely to experience a disorder later in life, so we know it’s a huge issue that can arise during that transition,” Jopling said. “What we don’t know is, who will be part of that 11.5 per cent? Or that 40 per cent?”

The research team is now recruiting youth for a six-month study. You should be starting at a new school for Grade 8. Through saliva samples, the team will gauge cortisol levels, and interview the kids and their parents. The youth will be asked to track their moods every day for the first two weeks of high school.

Jopling said the hope is that this information offers a better glimpse into the factors that cause mental health to dip, and that can then be turned into prevention strategies for parents to help their kids.

“We hope to create resources to share with parents in the community. One would be a large multi-user website, somewhere for parents to go who are wondering, ‘What can I do to help my kid?’

“The important piece is that we’ll learn the flip side of what put kids at risk.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Missing Prince Rupert man located

Melvin Stanley Young who was last seen on Nov. 13 at a gas station has been found

Stewart RCMP welcomes new detachment commander

Corporal Derek Rondeau was named police officer of the year in PG

Skeena Métis Association encouraging Northwest B.C. Métis families to self-identify

Out of 5,760 students in SD82, only six are recognized as Métis, association says

B.C. First Nation Chief Ed John faces historic sex charges

John served as minister for children and families under then-premier Ujjah Dosanjh

Terrace Little Theatre’s fall play tackles climate change anxiety

Production of playwright Alena Smith’s “Icebergs” opens Nov. 15

VIDEO: B.C. to restrict nicotine content, bring in 20% tax on vaping products

Province will also restrict candy and fruit flavoured vaping products to adult-only stores

Seguin lifts surging Stars to 4-2 win over Canucks

Dallas is 6-0-1 in last seven outings

‘City that protects rapists’: Sexual assault survivor slams Kelowna mayor for defending RCMP

Heather Friesen spent the morning handing out flyers around city hall calling out the mayor

BC Liquor Stores to move fully to paper bags by March

Vancouver Island to be the first to convert to paper bags in November

Tolko shuts B.C. divisions for two weeks over holidays

Head office to close from Dec. 23-27; two weeks’ downtime runs Dec. 21-Jan. 6

B.C. government working with RCMP to address $10 million in budget cuts

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth issues statement following report of RCMP cost-cutting

Port Moody mayor says stayed sex assault charge related to ‘awkward date’

Rob Vagramov said charge was related to a string of dates in 2015

UBC conference draws fire over speaker from Chinese tech company blacklisted in U.S.

The company that has been blacklisted by the U.S. over links to the repression of China’s Muslim minority

‘It’s been 12 years’: Father of murdered B.C. real estate agent pleads for mayor’s help

Lindsay Buziak was stabbed to death on Feb. 2, 2008 in Saanich. Her case is unsolved.

Most Read