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This study analyzes whether physical, emotional & neurological, family environment, or community-related factors display the strongest association with anxiety and depression among children ages 0-17 in the United States.

Using IBM SPSS v. 27, we conducted a univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis on data from the 2017 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) with a sample size of 21,599. Our independent variables included 30 questions from the NSCH which were compared to a mental health index score.

Our study shows that about 10.6% of children suffer from either anxiety, depression, or both, and the univariate model found that 19 out of the 30 variables tested displayed a strong association with anxiety and depression (OR > 1.00). In the multivariate model, the factors that displayed the strongest association with anxiety and depression were ACE 3 - parental divorce (OR 1.316 [1.125, 1.539]) and ACE 8 - living in the same household with someone who is mentally ill (OR 2.213 [1.820, 2.691]), which were both assigned to the family environment category.

These results indicates that the family environment is a major contributor towards childhood development, which emphasizes the need for healthcare providers to have access to the necessary diagnostic tools to identify underlying mental health issues in pediatric patients. These findings are significant in that pediatric healthcare providers could implement screening techniques and treatment options that address a patient’s family environment.