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Mental Health and Education Decisions

  • Francesca Cornaglia
  • Elena Crivellaro
  • Sandra McNally

Mental health problems - and depression in particular - have been rising internationally. The link between poor mental health and poor educational outcomes is particularly interesting in the case of the UK which has a low international ranking both on measures of child wellbeing and the probability of early drop-out from the labour market and education. We study this issue using a large longitudinal study of a recent cohort of teenagers in England. We use the General Health Questionnaire to derive measures of poor mental health. We find a large negative association between mental health problems and educational outcomes - where we consider examination results before leaving compulsory education and the probability of being "not in education, employment or training" at a young age. The association is large even after including a very rich set of controls. Results are stronger for girls and also vary according to the different components of the mental health measure. We also explore the potential role of intermediary mechanisms (truancy and risky behaviours).

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File URL: http://cee.lse.ac.uk/ceedps/ceedp136.pdf
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Paper provided by Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE in its series CEE Discussion Papers with number e0136.

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Date of creation: Feb 2012
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Handle: RePEc:cep:ceedps:e0136
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://cee.lse.ac.uk/publications.htm

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  1. Jason Fletcher & Barbara L. Wolfe, 2007. "Child Mental Health and Human Capital Accumulation: The Case of ADHD Revisited," NBER Working Papers 13474, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Clark, Andrew E & Georgellis, Yannis & Sanfey, Peter, 2001. "Scarring: The Psychological Impact of Past Unemployment," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(270), pages 221-41, May.
  3. Gardner, Jonathan & Oswald, Andrew J., 2006. "Money and Mental Wellbeing : A Longitudinal Study of Medium-Sized Lottery Wins," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 754, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  4. Weili Ding & Steven Lehrer, 2005. "Do Peers Affect Student Achievement in China's Secondary Schools?," Working Papers 1047, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  5. Jason M. Fletcher, 2008. "Adolescent depression: diagnosis, treatment, and educational attainment," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(11), pages 1215-1235.
  6. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
  7. Currie, Janet & Stabile, Mark, 2006. "Child mental health and human capital accumulation: The case of ADHD," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 1094-1118, November.
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