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Mental health around pregnancy and child development from early childhood to adolescence

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  • von Hinke, Stephanie
  • Rice, Nigel
  • Tominey, Emma

Abstract

Mental health problems during pregnancy affect around 20% of mothers and may have lasting impacts on children’s health, cognitive and socio-emotional skills, educational attainment, and future labour market outcomes. We identify the causal effect of mothers’ prenatal mental health on a range of child psychological, socio-emotional and cognitive outcomes. Our methodology exploits shocks to mothers’ mental health that are induced by illness of the mother’s friends or relatives, whilst accounting for the non-randomness of exposure to illness. We find that mothers’ mental health problems negatively affect children’s psychological and socio-emotional skills in early childhood, but these fade-out between the ages of 11-13. There is no effect on children’s cognitive outcomes. Hence, our findings suggest that maternal prenatal mental health may have a limited direct effect on children’s future labour market outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • von Hinke, Stephanie & Rice, Nigel & Tominey, Emma, 2022. "Mental health around pregnancy and child development from early childhood to adolescence," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:78:y:2022:i:c:s092753712200135x
    DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2022.102245
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    Cited by:

    1. Andrew E. Clark & Conchita D'Ambrosio & Simone Ghislandi & Anthony Lepinteur & Giorgia Menta, 2021. "Maternal depression and child human capital: a genetic instrumental-variable approach," CEP Discussion Papers dp1749, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    2. Stephanie von Hinke & Emil N. S{o}rensen, 2022. "The Long-Term Effects of Early-Life Pollution Exposure: Evidence from the London Smog," Papers 2202.11785, arXiv.org.
    3. Menta, Giorgia & Lepinteur, Anthony & Clark, Andrew E. & Ghislandi, Simone & D'Ambrosio, Conchita, 2023. "Maternal genetic risk for depression and child human capital," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Prenatal psychological health; Offspring psychological outcomes; Offspring socio-emotional outcomes; Offspring cognitive outcomes; ALSPAC;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor

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