Local Exposure to School Shootings and Youth Antidepressant Use
While over 240,000 American students experienced a school shooting in the last two decades, little is known about the impacts of these events on the mental health of surviving youth. Using large-scale prescription data from 2006 to 2015, we examine the effects of 44 school shootings on youth antidepressant use in a difference-in-difference framework. We find that local exposure to fatal school shootings increases youth antidepressant use by 21.4 percent in the following two years. These effects are smaller in areas with a higher density of mental health providers who focus on behavioral, rather than pharmacological, interventions.
We thank Janet Currie, David Cutler, Daniel Grossman, Anupam (Bapu) Jena, Phillip Levine, Michelle Mello, Don Mordecai, Ciaran Phibbs, David Studdert, and seminar participants at Stanford University, the University of Oregon, the 2019 Whistler Health Economics Summit, the 2019 American Society of Health Economists Annual Conference, and the 2019 NBER Summer Institute. The statements, findings, conclusions, views, and opinions contained and expressed herein are not necessarily those of IQVIA or any of its affiliated or subsidiary entities. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Maya Rossin-Slater & Molly Schnell & Hannes Schwandt & Sam Trejo & Lindsey Uniat, 2020. "Local exposure to school shootings and youth antidepressant use," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol 117(38), pages 23484-23489.