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Childhood mistreatment and adolescent and young adult depression

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  • Fletcher, Jason M.

Abstract

In this paper, I use a nationally representative sample of adolescents from the United States to examine the association between childhood mistreatment (sexual abuse and physical abuse) and depression during adolescence and young adulthood. Researchers have implicated childhood mistreatment as one of the most important predictors of depression. An alternative mechanism linking childhood mistreatment with adolescent and young adult depression is community and family disadvantage (or other factors) that affect both outcomes. Using data from the restricted version of the U.S. National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), this paper outlines several findings of the relationship between mistreatment and depression as well as the gender differences in depression. First, I find very limited evidence that controlling for common environmental factors at the school or neighborhood level explain the relationship between mistreatment and depression. Also, I show that controlling for common family factors decreases the predictive power of childhood mistreatment on depression. Results in this paper generally support previous research that shows the link between childhood mistreatment and depression is most important for females, even within families. Finally, results suggest that the effects of child mistreatment on depression may increase as individuals age.

Suggested Citation

  • Fletcher, Jason M., 2009. "Childhood mistreatment and adolescent and young adult depression," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(5), pages 799-806, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:68:y:2009:i:5:p:799-806
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Currie, Janet & Tekin, Erdal, 2006. "Does Child Abuse Cause Crime?," IZA Discussion Papers 2063, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Jeffrey R Kling & Jeffrey B Liebman & Lawrence F Katz, 2007. "Experimental Analysis of Neighborhood Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(1), pages 83-119, January.
    8. Fletcher, Jason & Wolfe, Barbara, 2008. "Child mental health and human capital accumulation: The case of ADHD revisited," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 794-800, May.
    9. Romito, Patrizia & Grassi, Michele, 2007. "Does violence affect one gender more than the other? The mental health impact of violence among male and female university students," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 65(6), pages 1222-1234, September.
    10. Susan L. Ettner & Richard G. Frank & Ronald C. Kessler, 1997. "The Impact of Psychiatric Disorders on Labor Market Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 5989, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Jason M. Fletcher, 2008. "Adolescent depression: diagnosis, treatment, and educational attainment," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(11), pages 1215-1235.
    12. Schilling, Elizabeth A. & Aseltine, Robert H. & Gore, Susan, 2008. "The impact of cumulative childhood adversity on young adult mental health: Measures, models, and interpretations," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(5), pages 1140-1151, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jason M. Fletcher, 2010. "Adolescent depression and educational attainment: results using sibling fixed effects," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(7), pages 855-871.
    2. Ishida, Kanako & Stupp, Paul & Melian, Mercedes & Serbanescu, Florina & Goodwin, Mary, 2010. "Exploring the associations between intimate partner violence and women's mental health: Evidence from a population-based study in Paraguay," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 71(9), pages 1653-1661, November.
    3. Lindo, Jason M. & Schaller, Jessamyn & Hansen, Benjamin, 2013. "Economic Conditions and Child Abuse," IZA Discussion Papers 7355, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Fletcher Jason M. & Schurer Stefanie, 2017. "Origins of Adulthood Personality: The Role of Adverse Childhood Experiences," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 17(2), pages 1-22, April.
    5. Jason M. Lindo & Jessamyn Schaller & Benjamin Hansen, 2013. "Caution! Men Not at Work: Gender-Specific Labor Market Conditions and Child Maltreatment," NBER Working Papers 18994, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Fletcher, Jason, 2010. "The effects of intimate partner violence on health in young adulthood in the United States," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 130-135, January.
    7. Andrew Hussey & Debjani Kanjilal & Anil Nathan, 2016. "Disruption in Parental Co-habitation and its Effects on Short-Term, Medium-Term, and Long-Term Outcomes of Adolescents," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 58-74, March.

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