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Adolescent depression: diagnosis, treatment, and educational attainment

  • Jason M. Fletcher

    (Division of Health Policy and Administration, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine, CT, USA)

In this paper, I use nationally representative longitudinal data to examine adolescent depression and educational attainment. First, I examine the individual, family, and community-level determinants of adolescent depression, diagnosis, and treatment. I find that male and minority adolescents who score high on depression scales are less likely to be diagnosed as depressed or receive treatment than female and non-Hispanic white adolescents. Additionally, I find several community-level variables to be important determinants of depression, diagnosis, and treatment. Second, I examine the importance of adolescent depression for educational attainment. Although it is uncontroversial to expect a negative relationship, most previous research uses cross-sectional data, making it difficult to adequately determine the magnitude of the effect. I find that depressive symptoms are related to educational attainment along multiple margins: dropping out of high school, college enrollment, and college type. These relationships are only found for adolescent females, and there are several interesting results across income groups. Overall, these findings suggest that further attempts to diagnose and treat adolescents with depressive symptoms are needed and that additional treatment options may be required to combat the important relationship between adolescent depression and human capital accumulation for females. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/hec.1319
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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 17 (2008)
Issue (Month): 11 ()
Pages: 1215-1235

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Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:17:y:2008:i:11:p:1215-1235
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/5749

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  1. Janet Currie & Mark Stabile, 2004. "Child Mental Health and Human Capital Accumulation: The Case of ADHD," NBER Working Papers 10435, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Ernst R. Berndt & Susan Busch & Richard Frank, 2001. "Treatment Price Indexes for Acute Phase Major Depression," NBER Chapters, in: Medical Care Output and Productivity, pages 463-508 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  11. Susan L. Ettner & Richard G. Frank & Ronald C. Kessler, 1997. "The Impact of psychiatric disorders on labor market outcomes," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 51(1), pages 64-81, October.
  12. Farahati, F. & Marcotte, D. E. & Wilcox-Gok, V., 2003. "The effects of parents' psychiatric disorders on children's high school dropout," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 167-178, April.
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