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

West Kelowna pulls together for family’s pop-can tab collections

Thompson Chadsey collects aluminum pop-can tabs to repay his hospital

Summerland to host fourth annual Grand Sommelier Express

Wine event will be held on Kettle Valley Steam Railway’s historic train

Penticton woman captures footage of bobcat feasting on bird in backyard

‘Kim Ken Oszinski’ posted photos and videos of the bobcat from just a few feet away

Lake Country wins award for financial reporting for fourth year

The Canadian Award for Financial Reporting was awarded to the district

Kelowna woman trapped in Haiti hopes to get out next week

Laura Allan can’t return home due to civil unrest in the Caribbean country

5 Events to check out at local ski hills

Check out this new column from Okanagan events guru Christina Ferreira

New report calls for regulated heroin sales to curb B.C.’s overdose problem

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

Millennial men least likely to have a family doctor: Statistics Canada

Report found more women have primary care physicians, compared with men

Okanagan man fined $600 for twenty-third illegal driving conviction

Judge says another offense could result in jail time

Snowplow accident leads to power surge, small claims decision

Tribunal rules Shuswap resident not entitled to additional compensation

70% of Canadians agree with mandatory vaccines for children: poll

The debate for pro and anti vaccinations has heated up after a measles outbreak in Vancouver

VIDEO: Woman, off-duty cop in serious condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

Most Read