Maternal Depression and Childhood Health Inequalities
AbstractAn increasing body of literature documents considerable disparities in the health and wellbeing of young children in the United States, though maternal depression is one important, yet often overlooked, determinant of children's health. In this paper, I find that maternal depression, particularly depression that is recurrent or chronic, puts children at risk of having unfavorable health when they are five years old. This finding persists despite accounting for a host of demographic characteristics of the mothers and children, as well as adjusting for a lagged indicator of children's health. Results suggest that socioeconomic status, as well as maternal health and health behaviors, account for a large portion of the association between maternal depression and children's health. There is also some evidence that maternal depression is more consequential for children born to unmarried mothers than children born to married mothers.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing. in its series Working Papers with number 1249.
Date of creation: Jul 2010
Date of revision:
depression; children; mothers; mental health; children's health; maternal depression;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D19 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Other
- D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
- I00 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General - - - General
- J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
- J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
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