Nutrition to Nurturance: The Impact of Children's WIC Eligibility Loss on Parental Well-being

95 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2024

See all articles by Namgyoon Oh

Namgyoon Oh

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Economics

Date Written: April 10, 2024

Abstract

I evaluate the impacts of children aging out of the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program on parental mental health, medication adherence, and food security, outcomes well known to be associated. Regression discontinuity analysis reveals a decline in maternal mental health, specifically in anxiety, as children lose WIC eligibility. Medication adherence also decreases among mothers, especially those not covered by Medicaid. Fathers do not exhibit similar adverse effects. Moreover, both mothers and fathers experience increased food insecurity. Heterogeneity analysis indicates that single mothers and mothers predicted to be at risk of serious mental illness are the primary drivers behind the deterioration in maternal mental health, highlighting the vulnerability of these groups to the cessation of WIC benefits.

Note:

Funding Information: No specific grant was received from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Conflict of Interests: There are no conflicts of interest associated with this publication, and no financial support for this work could have influenced its outcome.

Keywords: WIC, spillovers, mental health, medication adherence, food security

JEL Classification: I3, H53, Q18

Suggested Citation

Oh, Namgyoon, Nutrition to Nurturance: The Impact of Children's WIC Eligibility Loss on Parental Well-being (April 10, 2024). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4789562 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4789562

Namgyoon Oh (Contact Author)

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Economics ( email )

410 David Kinley Hall
1407 W. Gregory
Urbana, IL 61801
United States

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