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(New Zealand) Explosion in anxiety in kids; experts blame divorce, testing, social media

June 26, 2018, New Zealand, News Hub: Psychologists struggling to cope with youth anxiety in New Zealand - expert VIDEO… Child psychologists are struggling to keep up with demand as the number of children with anxiety continues to increase. … Ms West recalls one child who was about seven or eight who was so scared they went to bed every night thinking Donald Trump was going to climb through their window and hurt them. Ms West's fellow psychologists have had to extend their work hours and hire new staff to cope with the demand. … In 2006, 3000 children aged between two and 14 were diagnosed with anxiety. A decade later, that number had bumped up to 24,000. Experts believe there are a number of reasons for the trend. Poverty has contributed, as has increased divorce rates, pressure for children to perform to national standards at school, and social media. Children are also growing up with role models from a generation of undiagnosed anxious parents. All of these reasons have contributed to the increase in children's anxiety, and that's not to mention the impact of disasters such as the Christchurch earthquake. Dr Sarah Alexander, chief executive of New Zealand early childhood education organisation ChildForum, has one more theory: she believes parents need more free time to spend with their kids. "Many children start early childhood education from six weeks of age, they might attend for 10 hours a day, five days a week," she says. …

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