What's Worrying America's Kids Survey

Nemours® KidsHealth® commissioned The Harris Poll to conduct the 2023 What’s Worrying America’s Kids survey to gain insight into the worries of children, where they go for help and how they cope.

Recent findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show a decline in many aspects of teens’ mental health and point to a larger youth mental health crisis. Nemours KidsHealth set out to understand what children worry about during the pre-teen years.

Understanding what children worry about most often offers an opportunity for parents and caregivers. They can learn more about their children’s concerns and gain insight into how to help them when worries become too frequent or intense.

Below you will find resources from Nemours KidsHealth, a pioneer and leader in pediatric health content that has been trusted by millions worldwide for more than 25 years. We've also provided videos from Nemours’ partnership with the Michael Phelps Foundation called Raising Resilient Kids.

Learn More About What Kids Said

How often do kids worry? What do they worry about? What do they do when they worry and whom do they turn to? It's all here. Find out more about our 2023 What’s Worrying America’s Kids survey.

Key Findings of the Survey

The research was conducted online from January 12–24, 2023, in the United States. The poll surveyed 504 youth ages 9–13, with permission to participate from their parent or legal guardian.


Children report that they worry


Turn to parents for information or advice when they worry


Children worry about being bullied


Kids report being sad or miserable when they worry

Children most commonly turn to their parents in times of worry, but this appears to diminish with age. 

More than 9 in 10 children who talk to someone or do something creative when they are worried, like paint or play music, say it makes them feel better. 

Distracting oneself through social media and other technology is  common — yet this often doesn't make children feel better.  

More than half of children think adults don't really understand what they worry about.

Some children feel like they worry more than others their age and feel as though no one usually notices when they feel this way. 

Resources for Parents

Everyone feels worried at times. As a parent you can’t prevent your children from feeling stress and worry. But you can help them cope when they need to. Nemours KidsHealth has advice and perspective that can help you support your kids.  

Resources for Kids

Worried girl

The experts at Nemours KidsHealth have advice and tips just for kids about worry and stress. When kids know more about what's making them feel this way and discover ways to calm their stress, they are more likely to take action. 

Helping Kids Calm Down

Michael and Nicole Phelps are passionate about making the world a better place and helping others understand mental health. Here, they meet psychologist Roger Harrison, PhD, who helps them learn what to do when kids are upset. Learn more about Raising Resilient Kids.

Preparing Kids for Change

Change can be hard for kids — whether that’s starting at a new school or having a parent leave for a trip. Psychologist Meghan Walls, PsyD, offers tips for talking to your child — at each age and stage.