Economic Conditions and Children's Mental Health

47 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2016 Last revised: 15 May 2022

See all articles by Ezra Golberstein

Ezra Golberstein

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

Gilbert Gonzales

Vanderbilt University

Ellen Meara

Harvard Medical School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: July 2016

Abstract

Research linking economic conditions and health largely ignores children’s mental health problems, which are the most common and consequential health issues for children and adolescents. We examine the effects of unemployment rates and housing prices on child and adolescent mental health and use of special education services for emotional problems in the 2001-2013 National Health Interview Survey. Mental health status declines as economic conditions deteriorate, and this result is pervasive across nearly every subgroup we examine, including families least likely to experience job loss. The use of special education services for emotional problems also rises when economic conditions worsen.

Suggested Citation

Golberstein, Ezra and Gonzales, Gilbert and Meara, Ellen, Economic Conditions and Children's Mental Health (July 2016). NBER Working Paper No. w22459, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2816733

Ezra Golberstein (Contact Author)

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor ( email )

500 S. State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States

Gilbert Gonzales

Vanderbilt University ( email )

2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN 37240
United States

Ellen Meara

Harvard Medical School ( email )

Department of Health Care Policy
Boston, MA 02115
United States
617-432-3537 (Phone)
617-432-0173 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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