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A head above the rest: Height and adolescent psychological well-being

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Author Info

  • Rees, Daniel I.
  • Sabia, Joseph J.
  • Argys, Laura M.

Abstract

Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we examine the effect of adolescent height on mental health as measured by Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) scores and Rosenberg Self-Esteem (RSE) scores. We find evidence that height is associated with fewer symptoms of depression among females 17-19 years of age, and among males 12-19 years of age. The negative relationship between height and depression among males persists after controlling for body mass index (BMI), differences in pubertal timing, and individual fixed effects, but does not explain the effect of height on educational attainment. We conclude that there is a small psychological benefit for males to being taller as an adolescent.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics & Human Biology.

Volume (Year): 7 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (July)
Pages: 217-228

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:7:y:2009:i:2:p:217-228

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622964

Related research

Keywords: Height Depression Self-esteem Education;

References

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  1. Anne Case & Christina Paxson, 2008. "Stature and Status: Height, Ability, and Labor Market Outcomes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(3), pages 499-532, 06.
  2. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Karen E. Norberg, 2001. "Explaining the Rise in Youth Suicide," NBER Chapters, in: Risky Behavior among Youths: An Economic Analysis, pages 219-270 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Mobius, Markus & Rosenblat, Tanya, 2010. "Why Beauty Matters," Staff General Research Papers 32112, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  4. Freeman, Richard Barry, 1984. "Longitudinal Analyses of the Effects of Trade Unions," Scholarly Articles 4631951, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Nicola Persico & Andrew Postlewaite & Dan Silverman, 2004. "The Effect of Adolescent Experience on Labor Market Outcomes: The Case of Height," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(5), pages 1019-1053, October.
  6. Nicola Persico & Andrew Postlewaite & Dan Silverman, 2001. "The Effect of Adolescent Experience on Labor Market Outcomes: The Case of Height, Third Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 04-013, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 05 Jan 2004.
  7. Jason M. Fletcher, 2008. "Adolescent depression: diagnosis, treatment, and educational attainment," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(11), pages 1215-1235.
  8. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Jeff E. Biddle, 1993. "Beauty and the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 4518, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Osika, Walter & Montgomery, Scott M., 2008. "Economic disadvantage modifies the association of height with low mood in the US, 2004: The disappointment paradox," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 95-107, March.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Carrieri, Vincenzo & De Paola, Maria, 2012. "Height and subjective well-being in Italy," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 289-298.
  2. Howard Bodenhorn & Carolyn Moehling & Gregory N. Price, 2012. "Short Criminals: Stature and Crime in Early America," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55(2), pages 393 - 419.
  3. Mora, Toni, 2013. "The association between adolescent height and student school satisfaction: Recent evidence from Catalonia," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 197-200.
  4. Vincenzo Carrieri & Maria De Paola, 2011. "The Effects Of Peoples’ Height And Relative Height On Well-Being," Working Papers 201110, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza (Ex Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica).
  5. Anderson, D. Mark & Cesur, Resul & Tekin, Erdal, 2012. "Youth Depression and Future Criminal Behavior," IZA Discussion Papers 6577, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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