The income gradient of child mental health in Australia? Does it vary across assessors, SES and family characteristics?

Khanam, Rasheda and Perales, Francisco and Nghiem, Son (2018) The income gradient of child mental health in Australia? Does it vary across assessors, SES and family characteristics? In: Western Economic Association International, 14th International Conference (IC2018) , 11-14 Jan 2018, Newcastle, Australia.

Abstract

Understanding the factors that enhance or limit children’s physical and mental health is a topic of increasing interest to researchers and policymakers alike, as child health is known to have short-term effects on academic attainment and long-term effects on adolescent and adult health and labour market outcomes. Income is one important precursor of child physical and general health, but studies examining income gradients in child mental health remain scarce. To our knowledge, only Johnston et al. (2014) have examined these relationships using British data. Their findings indicate that income has a positive effect on child’s mental health, but the magnitude of such an effect varies depending on who assesses child’s mental health (the child, the mother or a teacher). In this paper, we shed further light on these issues using longitudinal data from a large, national cohort of Australian children. We contribute to the literature by: (i) adding further covariates and applying panel approaches to control for unobserved heterogeneity that might be correlated with both income and child mental health, and (ii) examining the evolution of the income gradient in child mental health by child’s age. We find that, when only a basic set of covariates is present, family income has a significant positive effect on the mental health of Australian children. This effect varies depending on who assesses child’s mental health (it is largest when assessed by parents, and smallest when assessed by the child), and it fades in the presence of controls for parental health or unobserved effects via a fixed-effects estimator.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Speech)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: No evidence of publication in conference proceedings.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Commerce
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2018 04:30
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2018 04:30
Uncontrolled Keywords: income; child mental health; children’s socio-emotional outcomes; assessors; Australia; panel data
Fields of Research : 14 Economics > 1402 Applied Economics > 140208 Health Economics
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970114 Expanding Knowledge in Economics
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/33799

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