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Child mental health and educational attainment: multiple observers and the measurement error problem

  • David Johnston

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Carol Propper

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Stephen Pudney

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Social and Economic Research)

  • Michael Shields

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

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 find a strong tendency for observers to understate the problems of older children and adolescents compared to expert diagnosis.

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File URL: http://cemmap.ifs.org.uk/wps/cwp2711.pdf
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Paper provided by Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies in its series CeMMAP working papers with number CWP27/11.

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Date of creation: Jul 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ifs:cemmap:27/11
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  1. 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.
  2. Butler, J S, et al, 1987. "Measurement Error in Self-reported Health Variables," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(4), pages 644-50, November.
  3. Janet Currie & Mark Stabile, 2007. "Mental Health in Childhood and Human Capital," NBER Working Papers 13217, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Johnston, David W & Propper, Carol & Shields, Michael, 2007. "Comparing Subjective and Objective Measures of Health: Evidence from Hypertension for the Income/Health Gradient," CEPR Discussion Papers 6270, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Jones, Andrew M. & Wildman, John, 2008. "Health, income and relative deprivation: Evidence from the BHPS," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 308-324, March.
  6. James J. Heckman & Seong Hyeok Moon & Rodrigo Pinto & Peter A. Savelyev & Adam Yavitz, 2010. "Analyzing Social Experiments as Implemented: A Reexamination of the Evidence From the HighScope Perry Preschool Program," NBER Working Papers 16238, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Fabrice Etilé & Carine Milcent, 2006. "Income-related reporting heterogeneity in self-assessed health: evidence from France," PSE Working Papers halshs-00590524, HAL.
  8. Yingyao Hu & Susanne M. Schennach, 2008. "Instrumental Variable Treatment of Nonclassical Measurement Error Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(1), pages 195-216, 01.
  9. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 411-482, July.
  10. 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.
  11. David W. Johnston & Carol Propper & Stephen E. Pudney & Michael A. Shields, 2010. "Is there an Income Gradient in Child Health? It depends whom you ask," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 10/232, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  12. Janet Currie & Mark Stabile & Phongsack Manivong & Leslie L. Roos, 2010. "Child Health and Young Adult Outcomes," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(3).
  13. Lindeboom, Maarten & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 2004. "Cut-Point Shift and Index Shift in Self-Reported Health," IZA Discussion Papers 1286, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. Michael Baker & Mark Stabile & Catherine Deri, 2001. "What do Self-Reported, Objective, Measures of Health Measure?," NBER Working Papers 8419, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. repec:ese:iserwp:2007-03 is not listed on IDEAS
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