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Correlates of Mental Illness and Wellbeing in Children: Are They the Same? Results From the UK Millennium Cohort Study

Patalay, P; Fitzsimons, E; (2016) Correlates of Mental Illness and Wellbeing in Children: Are They the Same? Results From the UK Millennium Cohort Study. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry , 55 (9) pp. 771-783. 10.1016/j.jaac.2016.05.019. Green open access

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Abstract

Objective To investigate a framework of correlates of both mental illness and wellbeing in a large, current, and nationally representative sample of children in the United Kingdom. Method An ecologic framework of correlates including individual (sociodemographic and human capital), family, social, and wider environmental factors were examined in 12,347 children aged 11 years old from the UK Millennium Cohort Study. Mental illness and wellbeing scores were standardized to allow comparisons, and the variance explained by the different predictors was estimated. Results Mental illness and wellbeing were weakly correlated in children (r = 0.2), and their correlates were similar in some instances (e.g., family structure, sibling bullying, peer problems) but differed in others (e.g., family income, perceived socioeconomic status, cognitive ability, health status, neighborhood safety). The predictors included in the study explained 47% of the variance in symptoms of mental illness, with social relationships, home environment, parent health, cognitive ability, socioeconomic status, and health factors predicting large amounts of variance. A comparatively lower 26% of the variance in wellbeing was explained by the study variables, with wider environment, social relationships, perceived socioeconomic status, and home environment predicting the most variance. Conclusion Correlates of children’s mental illness and wellbeing are largely distinct, stressing the importance of considering these concepts separately and avoiding their conflation. This study highlights the relevance of these findings for understanding social gradients in mental health through the life course and the conceptualization and development of mental illness and wellbeing in childhood as precursors to lifelong development in these domains.

Type: Article
Title: Correlates of Mental Illness and Wellbeing in Children: Are They the Same? Results From the UK Millennium Cohort Study
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jaac.2016.05.019
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaac.2016.05.019
Language: English
Additional information: © 2016 American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Social Sciences, Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Psychology, Developmental, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Psychology, psychopathology, mental health, determinants, psychiatric epidemiology, social gradient, NATIONAL-HEALTH INTERVIEW, 14-YEAR FOLLOW-UP, DSM-IV DISORDERS, SOCIAL DETERMINANTS, EARLY ADOLESCENCE, PREVALENCE, CHILDHOOD, LIFE, QUESTIONNAIRE, ANXIETY
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science > Population Science and Experimental Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science > MRC Unit for Lifelong Hlth and Ageing
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1522347
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