Maternal Depression and Childhood Health Inequalities
An increasing body of literature documents considerable disparities in the health and wellbeing of young children in the United States, though maternal depression is one important, yet often overlooked, determinant of children's health. In this paper, I find that maternal depression, particularly depression that is recurrent or chronic, puts children at risk of having unfavorable health when they are five years old. This finding persists despite accounting for a host of demographic characteristics of the mothers and children, as well as adjusting for a lagged indicator of children's health. Results suggest that socioeconomic status, as well as maternal health and health behaviors, account for a large portion of the association between maternal depression and children's health. There is also some evidence that maternal depression is more consequential for children born to unmarried mothers than children born to married mothers.
|Date of creation:||Jul 2010|
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