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Mental Health in Childhood and Human Capital

In: The Problems of Disadvantaged Youth: An Economic Perspective

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  • Janet Currie
  • Mark Stabile

Abstract

Although mental disorders are common among children, we know little about their long term effects on child outcomes. This paper examines U.S. and Canadian children with symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), depression, conduct disorders, and other behavioral problems. Our work offers a number of innovations. First we use large nationally representative samples of children from both countries. Second, we focus on "screeners" that were administered to all children in our sample, rather than on diagnosed cases. Third, we address omitted variables bias by estimating sibling-fixed effects models. Fourth, we examine a range of outcomes. Fifth, we ask how the effects of mental health conditions are mediated by family income and maternal education. We find that mental health conditions, and especially ADHD, have large negative effects on future test scores and schooling attainment, regardless of family income and maternal education.

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This chapter was published in:

  • Jonathan Gruber, 2009. "The Problems of Disadvantaged Youth: An Economic Perspective," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number grub07-2, July.
    This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 0590.

    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:0590

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    References

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    1. Paul Gregg & Stephen Machin, 1998. "Child Development and Success or Failure in the Youth Labour Market," CEP Discussion Papers dp0397, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    2. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 411-482, July.
    3. Alison Evans Cuellar & Sara Markowitz & Anne M. Libby, 2003. "The Relationships between Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment and Juvenile Crime," NBER Working Papers 9952, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Cullen, Julie Berry, 2003. "The impact of fiscal incentives on student disability rates," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1557-1589, August.
    5. Korenman, Sanders & Miller, Jane E. & Sjaastad, John E., 1995. "Long-term poverty and child development in the United States: Results from the NLSY," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 127-155.
    6. Currie, Janet & Stabile, Mark, 2006. "Child mental health and human capital accumulation: The case of ADHD," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 1094-1118, November.
    7. Martin Dooley & Jennifer Stewart, 2007. "Family income, parenting styles and child behavioural-emotional outcomes," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(2), pages 145-162.
    8. John M. Barron & Mark C. Berger & Dan A. Black, 2006. "Selective Counteroffers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 385-410, July.
    9. Jo Blanden & Paul Gregg & Lindsey Macmillan, 2006. "Explaining Intergenerational Income Persistence: Non-cognitive Skills, Ability and Education," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 06/146, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    10. Curtis, Lori & Phipps, Shelley, 2004. "Social transfers and the health status of mothers in Norway and Canada," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 58(12), pages 2499-2507, June.
    11. Lori Curtis & Martin D. Dooley & Ellen L. Lipman & David H. Feeny, . "The Role of Permanent Income and Family Structure in the Determination of Child Health in the Ontario Child Health Study," Canadian International Labour Network Working Papers 16, McMaster University.
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    Cited by:
    1. David Johnston & Carol Propper & Stephen Pudney & Michael Shields, 2011. "Child Mental Health and Educational Attainment: Multiple Observers and the Measurement Error Problem," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 11/264, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    2. Nabanita Datta Gupta & Marianne Simonsen, 2007. "Non-cognitive Child Outcomes and Universal High Quality Child Care," Economics Working Papers 2007-17, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
    3. Richard G. Frank & Ellen Meara, 2009. "The Effect of Maternal Depression and Substance Abuse on Child Human Capital Development," NBER Working Papers 15314, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Lara Shore-Sheppard, 2010. "Child Health," NBER Chapters, in: Targeting Investments in Children: Fighting Poverty When Resources are Limited, pages 77-119 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Jeffrey S. DeSimone, 2010. "Sadness, Suicidality and Grades," NBER Working Papers 16239, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Dinand Webbink & Nicholas Martin & Peter Visscher, 2011. "Does teenage childbearing reduce investment in human capital?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 701-730, April.
    7. McGee, Andrew, 2011. "Skills, standards, and disabilities: How youth with learning disabilities fare in high school and beyond," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 109-129, February.

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