Dutch youth have better mental health compared to other countries (especially among boys)

It's all that biking 🚲

Alexa, play that ol’ rock song because the kids ARE alright! New research shows good mental health and social relationships among young people in the Netherlands.

The results come from a large study of ‘Health Behaviour in School-aged Children’ across 44 countries and 280,000 students aged 11, 13 and 15.

The key findings for Dutch youths are mostly positive, but less so for girls, RTL shares.

Fewer on their phones, fewer feeling alone

The Netherlands ranks positively in three key areas: loneliness, talking about their struggles, and social media negativity.

Online beef is a big part of tween communication these days, but the Netherlands has the lowest percentage internationally when it comes to problematic social media use.

READ MORE | This psychologist focuses on lifestyle changes to boost expats’ mental health: here’s how

Dutch kids are also among the least lonely in the study, and most of them feel like they can easily talk to their parents if something bothers them.

But have you ever asked your dad a question just to be told, “Talk to mum?” Well, the study shows that Dutch youths are even more likely to talk to their mother than their father about issues (it’s close, though 😉).

Deteriorating mental health in girls

There’s a concerning pattern whenever the Netherlands celebrates being really happy or having great well-being — it’s not as good news for women.

And it’s no different for young girls in this study, who experience more mental problems on average.

READ MORE | Being a feminist in the Netherlands: surprisingly, it’s a challenge

When asked how often they suffer from anxious feelings, headaches or sleeping problems, 50% of girls indicated they experienced these symptoms more than once a week.

For the boys, this was much lower at 28%.

However, this is an international problem; results for almost all of the participating countries show deterioration in girls’ mental well-being. 

Are you surprised by the results of the study? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Lottie Gale 🇬🇧
Lottie Gale 🇬🇧
Lottie joins DutchReview as an editorial intern after gaining a Bachelor’s in English from her native England. She continues to pursue all things literature in her MA Literature Today at Utrecht University. She is loving life here, and the ever-looming rainclouds often make it feel like a home from home. Lottie arrived to complete her studies and hone her writing skills — she’ll stay for the Dutch tranquility, tulips and tompouce.


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