An Analysis of Mental Stress in Ireland, 1994-2000
The General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) is frequently used as a measure of mental well-being with those people with values below a certain threshold regarded as suffering from mental stress. Comparison of mental stress levels across populations may then be sensitive to the chosen threshold. This paper uses stochastic dominance techniques to show that mental stress fell in Ireland over the 1994 to 2000 period regardless of the threshold chosen. Decomposition techniques suggest that changes in the proportion unemployed and in the protective effect of income, education and marital status upon mental health were the principal factors underlying this fall.
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