Study: 1 in 8 Israeli Teens Suffers From Mental Disorder


depressedOne in eight Israeli teenagers suffer from a mental disorder requiring professional help, a new Health Ministry study reveals.

The main risk factors for the development of such a disorder are living with a single parent and economic distress requiring welfare.

Similar studies conducted worldwide show that the percentage of youth suffering from such disorders stands at 7-16.4%. The factors which may cause such disorders are parents’ divorce, chronic illnesses, exposure to terror and wars, belonging to a minority group, economic distress in the family and parents with lower education.

The study was conducted recently by the Health Ministry and is the first of its kind, as no comprehensive national research on mental disorders among youth has been held in Israel so far.

It was held among adolescents aged 14-17 and their mothers. The respondents were from 33 cities – 23 Jewish and mixed cities and 10 Arab ones.

The teens and their mothers were interviewed separately. The possible disorders examined as part of the research were separation anxiety, different phobias, social phobia, anxiety attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, general anxiety disorder, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and violent conduct disorder.

Seventy-seven percent of the study’s participants were Jewish, while 23% were Arab, Christian and Druze; 18.5% were not born in Israel; 14% live with a divorced, windowed or single parent, usually the mother; 77% live in families with three children or more; almost 25% of the participants’ fathers were unemployed at the time of the research.

 The study found that 11.7% of adolescents suffer from a mental disorder of some kind. The most common disorder is depression (3.3%), followed by attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (3%), a certain kind of phobia (2.3%), aggressive objection to adults (1.8%), general anxiety disorder (1.4%), and an obsessive disorder (1.2%).

About 9% of all girls suffered from a certain disorder compared to only 3% of boys. Girls suffered more than boys from phobias (3.7% compared to 1.4%), post-traumatic stress disorder (1.5% compared to 0%) and depression (4.7% compared to 1.8%). More boys than girls suffered from separation anxiety (1.3% compared to 0.4%) and from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (3.9% compared to 2%).

More Arab teens than Jews suffered from separation anxiety (3% compared to 2.4%) and from anxiety attacks (1.6% compared to 0%), and more Jews than Arabs suffered from depression (3.9% compared to 1.1%).

The researchers also discovered that adolescents living with many siblings suffered from a lower frequency of mental problems than those living with one sibling – while other studied conducted worldwide reported the opposite.

The Israeli study did not find a particularly high percentage of post-traumatic stress disorder in Israel compared to other countries, and did not find a link between immigrating to Israel and the development of mental disorders.

{Ynet/Yair Israel}


  1. It’s freikeit and nothing else that makes a Jew who doesn’t keep Torah sick. This country is a mess that you can’t imagine if you don’t live here. The freiers are living in such a horrible bubble of sheker with no explanations for anything that they are taught to believe. Any reasonable person would crack under the load.

    Save these kids, abolish the frei schools and teach them Toras Moshe!

  2. So nice the Israelis are wasting money studying future murdering Arabs. I have a shortcut for you, kick all the Arabs out of the country before they murder again.