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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Not mentally ill, but bad

I don't believe this for a minute:

Almost half of college-aged individuals had a psychiatric disorder in the past year.

If these numbers were even half true, it would be scary. But all sorts of things are called "psychiatric disorders" that once weren't -- this study, for example, includes "nicotine dependence." It would be a lot more useful if they could stick to real ills such as depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Overstating the problem this way just brings psychiatry into disrepute, which helps nobody.

I do believe this, however:

American teenagers lie, steal and cheat more at "alarming rates," a study of nearly 30,000 high school students concluded Monday.

[. . .]

Overall, 30 percent of students admitted to stealing from a store within the past year, a two percent rise from 2006. More than one third of boys (35 percent) said they had stolen goods, compared to 26 percent of girls.

An overwhelming majority, 83 percent, of public school and private religious school students admitted to lying to their parents about something significant, compared to 78 percent for those attending independent non-religious schools.

Most kids in previous generations seem to have grown out of their bad behavior. That will be the real test of this generation, not whether a greater percentage of them are bad than in the past.


tim zank
Tue, 12/02/2008 - 2:26pm

Leo, allow me to correct a sentence in your last paragraph..

"Most kids in previous generations seem to have grown out of their bad behavior, or else been elected to Congress.

There, fixed it.

Bob G.
Tue, 12/02/2008 - 6:13pm

Yeah...funny, Tim (and correct).