British Indian Kids, Better Mental Health

LONDON, May 11 (UPI) — British children with Indian ancestry have better mental health than Caucasian British children, researchers found.

Lead author Anna Goodman of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and colleagues used data from the 1999 and 2004 British Child and Adolescent Mental Health Surveys, which polled children and teens ages 5-16 living in England.

The study, published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, said the proportion of children with Indian ancestry with any mental health disorder was 3.7 percent — the lowest of any major ethnic group and substantially lower than the 10 percent proportion in Caucasian children.

The mental health advantage children of Indian ancestry had fewer behavioral problems such as aggressive or anti-social behavior and fewer hyperactivity problems as reported by teachers, parents and children themselves.

“Child mental health problems have grown more common in Britain in the last 50 years, and are much more common in children from poorer families,” Goodman said in a statement. “Indian children suffer fewer problems and the socioeconomic gradient is much less marked.”

The findings may be explained in part by the fact that the children of Indian ancestry were more likely to live in two-parent families and did better in school, Goodman said.

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