The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has recently published, “The Health of Canada’s Young People: a Mental Health Focus.” The report is based on the results of the cross-national “Health Behaviour in School-aged Children” (HBSC) study, done in collaboration with 43 other countries and regions involved with the World Health Organization (WHO).
The purpose of the project is to increase understanding of health and its determinants in young people (particularly ages 11 to 15 years) by means of surveys conducted in classrooms. The HBSC is administered every four years and follows a research protocol that is common for all participating countries.
In Canada 26,078 young Canadians in 436 schools were surveyed for the 2010 series.
The focus of the 2010 report is on the mental health of adolescents. Examining both emotional (internalized) and behavioural (externalized) outcomes, girls reported more negative results, higher levels of emotional problems, and lower levels of emotional well-being and life satisfaction than boys. In addition, boys appear to have more consistent outcomes throughout their school years, as opposed to girls, whose scores become progressively worse.
To read the online report by PHAC, go to www.phac-aspc.gc.ca.