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Child Mental Health and Educational Attainment: Multiple Observers and the Measurement Error Problem

Author

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  • David Johnston
  • Carol Propper
  • Stephen Pudney
  • Michael Shields

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Abstract

We examine the effect of survey measurement error on the empirical relationship between child mental health and personal and family characteristics, and between child mental health and educational progress. Our contribution is to use unique UK survey data that contains (potentially biased) assessments of each child's mental state from three observers (parent, teacher and child), together with expert (quasi-) diagnoses, using an assumption of optimal diagnostic behaviour to adjust for reporting bias. We use three alternative restrictions to identify the effect of mental disorders on educational progress. Maternal education and mental health, family income, and major adverse life events, are all significant in explaining child mental health, and child mental health is found to have a large influence on educational progress. Our preferred estimate is that a 1-standard deviation reduction in ‘true' latent child mental health leads to a 2-5 months loss in educational progress. We also and a strong tendency for observers to understate the problems of older children and adolescents compared to expert diagnosis.

Suggested Citation

  • David Johnston & Carol Propper & Stephen Pudney & Michael Shields, 2011. "Child Mental Health and Educational Attainment: Multiple Observers and the Measurement Error Problem," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 11/264, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  • Handle: RePEc:bri:cmpowp:11/264
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. James Heckman & Seong Hyeok Moon & Rodrigo Pinto & Peter Savelyev & Adam Yavitz, 2010. "Analyzing social experiments as implemented: A reexamination of the evidence from the HighScope Perry Preschool Program," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 1(1), pages 1-46, July.
    2. Johnston, David W. & Propper, Carol & Shields, Michael A., 2009. "Comparing subjective and objective measures of health: Evidence from hypertension for the income/health gradient," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 540-552, May.
    3. James Heckman & Seong Hyeok Moon & Rodrigo Pinto & Peter Savelyev & Adam Yavitz, 2010. "Analyzing social experiments as implemented: evidence from the HighScope Perry Preschool Program," CeMMAP working papers CWP22/10, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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    11. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1996:86:5:706-711_3 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Yingyao Hu & Susanne M. Schennach, 2008. "Instrumental Variable Treatment of Nonclassical Measurement Error Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(1), pages 195-216, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Emily McDool & Phillip Powell & Jennifer Roberts & Karl Taylor, 2016. "Social Media Use and Children’s Wellbeing," Working Papers 2016011, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics.
    2. repec:zbw:rwirep:0547 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Borra, Cristina & Iacovou, Maria & Sevilla, Almudena, 2012. "The effect of breastfeeding on children's cognitive and noncognitive development," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 496-515.
    4. Gabriella Conti & Andrea Galeotti & Gerrit Müller & Stephen Pudney, 2013. "Popularity," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 48(4), pages 1072-1094.
      • Conti, Gabriella & Galeotti, Andrea & Mueller, Gerrit & Pudney, Stephen, 2009. "Popularity," ISER Working Paper Series 2009-03, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
      • Gabriella Conti & Andrea Galeotti & Gerrit Mueller & Stephen Pudney, 2012. "Popularity," NBER Working Papers 18475, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Daniel Avdic & Tugba Büyükdurmus, 2015. "Communication Problems? The Role of Parent-child Communication for the Subsequent Health Behavior of Adolescents," Ruhr Economic Papers 0547, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    6. Mendolia, Silvia & McNamee, Paul & Yerokhin, Oleg, 2018. "The Transmission of Mental Health within Households: Does One Partner's Mental Health Influence the Other Partner's Life Satisfaction?," IZA Discussion Papers 11431, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Avdic, Daniel & Büyükdurmus, Tugba, 2015. "Communication Problems? The Role of Parent-child Communication for the Subsequent Health Behavior of Adolescents," Ruhr Economic Papers 547, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Child mental health; Education; Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire; Measurement error;

    JEL classification:

    • C30 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - General
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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