Family Ruptures, Stress, and the Mental Health of the Next Generation

Reprint No. 2018:23

Author(s): Petra Persson and Maya Rossin-SlaterYear: 2018 Title: American Economic Review Volume (No.): 108 (4-5) Pages: 1214–1252
Online article (restrictions may apply)

This paper studies how in utero exposure to maternal stress from family ruptures affects later mental health. We find that prenatal exposure to the death of a maternal relative increases take-up of ADHD medications during childhood and anti-anxiety and depression medications in adulthood. Further, family ruptures during pregnancy depress birth outcomes and raise the risk of perinatal complications necessitating hospitalization. Our results suggest large welfare gains from preventing fetal stress from family ruptures and possibly from economically induced stressors such as unemployment. They further suggest that greater stress exposure among the poor may partially explain the intergenerational persistence of poverty.

Persson, Petra and Maya Rossin-Slater (2018), "Family Ruptures, Stress, and the Mental Health of the Next Generation". American Economic Review 108(4-5), 1214–1252.

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Social Capital and Health

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Martin Ljunge, IFN, is the author of a chapter, "Trust promotes health: addressing reverse causality by studying children of immigrants", in a new book edited by Sherman Folland and Eric Nauenberg. The cutting edge of research is presented, covering the ever-expanding social capital field.

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