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Poverty dynamics and parental mental health: Determinants of childhood mental health in the UK

Fitzsimons, E; Goodman, A; Kelly, E; Smith, JP; (2017) Poverty dynamics and parental mental health: Determinants of childhood mental health in the UK. Social Science & Medicine , 175 pp. 43-51. 10.1016/j.socscimed.2016.12.040. Green open access

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Abstract

Using data from the British Millennium Cohort Study (MCS), an ongoing longitudinal study of a cohort of 18,827 children born in the UK in 2000-2001, we investigate important correlates of mental health issues during childhood. MCS respondents were sampled at birth, at age 9 months, and then when they were 3, 5, 7 and 11 years old. Each sweep contains detailed information on the family's SES, parenting activities, developmental indicators, parental relationship status, and indicators of parental mental health. The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) and the related Rutter scale were used to identify behavioral and emotional problems in children. In this paper, childhood problems are separated into four domains: hyperactivity, emotional symptoms, conduct problems, and peer problems. We focus on two aspects of this relationship at ages 5 and 11-the role of temporary and persistent poverty and the role of temporary and persistent mental health problems of mothers and fathers. At ages 11 and 5, without other controls in the model, persistent and transitory poverty have strong estimated associations with all four domains, with somewhat stronger estimated effects for persistent poverty. After a set of controls are added, we document that both persistent levels of poverty and transitions into poverty are strongly associated with levels of and transitions into childhood mental health problems. Similarly, sustained levels and transitions into mothers' mental health problems are strongly associated with levels and transitions into children's mental health problems. This is much less so for fathers.

Type: Article
Title: Poverty dynamics and parental mental health: Determinants of childhood mental health in the UK
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2016.12.040
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2016.12.040
Language: English
Additional information: © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. This manuscript version is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Non-derivative 4.0 International license (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). This license allows you to share, copy, distribute and transmit the work for personal and non-commercial use providing author and publisher attribution is clearly stated. Further details about CC BY licenses are available at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/. Access may be initially restricted by the publisher.
Keywords: Childhood mental health, Parental mental health, Parental physical health, Poverty, UK
UCL classification: UCL
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 Research Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1534939
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