NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Economic Conditions and Children's Mental Health

Ezra Golberstein, Gilbert Gonzales, Ellen Meara

NBER Working Paper No. 22459
Issued in July 2016
NBER Program(s):   CH   HC   HE

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.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w22459

 
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