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Mental Health in Childhood and Human Capital

In: The Problems of Disadvantaged Youth: An Economic Perspective

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  • Janet Currie
  • Mark Stabile

Abstract

Although mental disorders are common among children, we know little about their long term effects on child outcomes. This paper examines U.S. and Canadian children with symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), depression, conduct disorders, and other behavioral problems. Our work offers a number of innovations. First we use large nationally representative samples of children from both countries. Second, we focus on "screeners" that were administered to all children in our sample, rather than on diagnosed cases. Third, we address omitted variables bias by estimating sibling-fixed effects models. Fourth, we examine a range of outcomes. Fifth, we ask how the effects of mental health conditions are mediated by family income and maternal education. We find that mental health conditions, and especially ADHD, have large negative effects on future test scores and schooling attainment, regardless of family income and maternal education.
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Suggested Citation

  • Janet Currie & Mark Stabile, 2007. "Mental Health in Childhood and Human Capital," NBER Chapters, in: The Problems of Disadvantaged Youth: An Economic Perspective, pages 115-148, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:0590
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    Cited by:

    1. Hendrik Jürges & Alexandra Schwarz & Sorel Cahan & Ziad Abdeen, 2019. "Child mental health and cognitive development: evidence from the West Bank," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 46(3), pages 423-442, August.
    2. Lara Shore-Sheppard, 2010. "Child Health," NBER Chapters, in: Targeting Investments in Children: Fighting Poverty When Resources are Limited, pages 77-119, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Dinand Webbink & Nicholas Martin & Peter Visscher, 2011. "Does teenage childbearing reduce investment in human capital?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(2), pages 701-730, April.
    4. Richard G. Frank & Ellen Meara, 2009. "The Effect of Maternal Depression and Substance Abuse on Child Human Capital Development," NBER Working Papers 15314, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. David Johnston & Carol Propper & Stephen Pudney & Michael Shields, 2014. "Child Mental Health And Educational Attainment: Multiple Observers And The Measurement Error Problem," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(6), pages 880-900, September.
    6. Afshin Zilanawala & Laia Bécares & Aprile Benner, 2019. "Race/ethnic inequalities in early adolescent development in the United Kingdom and United States," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 40(6), pages 121-154.
    7. Datta Gupta, Nabanita & Simonsen, Marianne, 2010. "Non-cognitive child outcomes and universal high quality child care," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1-2), pages 30-43, February.
    8. Wehby George L. & McCarthy Ann Marie & Castilla Eduardo & Murray Jeffrey C., 2011. "The Impact of Household Investments on Early Child Neurodevelopment and on Racial and Socioeconomic Developmental Gaps: Evidence from South America," Forum for Health Economics & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 14(2), pages 1-60, December.
    9. Katherine Eyal & Lindokuhle Njozela, 2016. "What Difference Does A Year Make? The Cumulative Effect of Missing Cash Transfers on Schooling Attainment," SALDRU Working Papers 186, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    10. Daniel Eisenberg & Ezra Golberstein & Janis L. Whitlock & Marilyn F. Downs, 2013. "Social Contagion Of Mental Health: Evidence From College Roommates," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(8), pages 965-986, August.
    11. Jeffrey S. DeSimone, 2010. "Sadness, Suicidality and Grades," NBER Working Papers 16239, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. McGee, Andrew, 2011. "Skills, standards, and disabilities: How youth with learning disabilities fare in high school and beyond," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 109-129, February.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education

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