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Posted on Wed, Jul 29, 2009 : 6:20 a.m.

University of Michigan poll: Kids feel stress from the economy, too

By Tina Reed

While local adults may be the ones worrying about keeping or finding a job in the current economic climate, their children may be just as stressed.

Forty percent of parents said their children are showing signs of stress in the current economic recession, according to a recent University of Michigan poll.

“Stress like this can interfere with their overall sense of well-being,” said Matthew Davis, the lead researcher and associate professor of pediatrics and internal medicine.

“This is something health care providers need to be aware of, especially here in Michigan.”

According to the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health, children are also likely receiving less health care.

In the study, nearly one in two families reported being in a financially worse situation than six months ago.

Of those families, 11 percent had delayed their child’s doctor’s visits and 16 percent had delayed dentist’s visits to make ends meet. The number of parents delaying health care is about twice what is was in previous surveys, he said.

About a quarter of those parents indicated they’d applied for free or reduced lunch programs and applied for state or government insurance for their children.

“This is also to help parents understand they’re not alone in this and to help policy makers respond in meaningful ways,” Davis said.

Tina Reed covers health and the environment for Reach her at 734-623-2535 or