Any Disorder Among Children
Mental disorders are common among children in the United States, and can be particularly difficult for the children themselves and their caregivers. While mental disorders are widespread, the main burden of illness is concentrated among those suffering from a seriously debilitating mental illness. Just over 20 percent (or 1 in 5) children, either currently or at some point during their life, have had a seriously debilitating mental disorder.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) includes prevalence data for children ages 8 to 15; a slightly younger age range than the data from the NCS-A chart above. These data show that approximately 13 percent of children ages 8 to 15 had a diagnosable mental disorder within the previous year. The most common disorder among this age group is attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which affects 8.5 percent of this population. This is followed by mood disorders broadly at 3.7 percent, and major depressive disorder specifically at 2.7 percent.