The enduring impact of childhood experience on mental health: evidence using instrumented co-twin data
AbstractThe question of whether there is a lasting effect of childhood experience on mental health has eluded causal measurement. We draw upon identical twin data and econometric instrumentation to provide an unbiased answer. We find that 55% of a one standard deviation change in mental health due to idiosyncratic experience at age 9 will still be present three years later. Extending the analysis, we find such persistence to vary with age at impact, gender, and mental health sub-categories. This investigation allows us to get a grasp on the degree to which childhood events influence health and socio-economic outcomes by way of their lagged effect on subsequent mental health. A better understanding of the evolution of mental health also helps identifying when mental health issues can be most effectively treated.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 51522.
Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Other versions of this item:
- Rachel Berner Shalem & Francesca Cornaglia & Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, 2012. "The Enduring Impact of Childhood Experience on Mental Health: Evidence Using Instrumented Co-Twin Data," CEP Discussion Papers dp1175, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- I0 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General
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