Children from Rich Families More Likely To Develop Mental Health Problems, Study


Mental health problems are more likely to develop in children from rich families compared to children from less affluent families, according to Arizona State University. Researchers also found that kids belonging to wealthy parents are displaying increased levels of neurosis that lead to drug abuse, criminal behavior and eating disorders.

The study also found that depression and anxiety - the two major factors responsible for such behavior - are double the normal rate in children whose parents earn more than $160,000 a year. The reason why children from affluent families show high levels of depression and anxiety is because their parents thrust unnecessary pressure on them to succeed.

Suniya Luthar, the psychologist from Arizona State University said that majority of the children are unable to fulfill their parent's demands.

 "The evidence suggests that the privileged young are much more vulnerable than in previous generations. I have spent the last decade researching why this is the case. The evidence points to one cause: the pressure for high octane achievement. 'The children of affluent parents expect to excel at school and in extracurricular activities, and also in their social lives. They feel a relentless sense of pressure," Luthar told Daily Mail UK.

The study has been published in the Journal of Development and Psychopathology and in Psychology Today.

Previously, it was believed that children from richer families suffered reduced risk of neuroses because of comfort and privilege they receive at home. But the new study found out that having rich parents with high expectations and aspirations results in a stressful life.

"Studies show that on average, serious levels of depression, anxiety or somatic (physical) symptoms occur twice as often among these (wealthier) boys and girls compared to national rates. Whence the unrelenting pressure? Some comes from families. There are high-pressure traps that white-collar parents, more than others, can fall into. The first is excessive emphasis on children's accomplishments....too often what parents want is over the top, Luthar said.

"Parents, however, are but one part of the equation. Impossibly high expectations are transmitted not only by parents but by the entire community - teachers, schools, coaches and peers."

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