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Author: Frank, Richard G.
Resulting in 2 citations.
1. Frank, Richard G.
Meara, Ellen
The Effect of Maternal Depression and Substance Abuse on Child Human Capital Development
NBER Working Paper No. 15314, National Bureau of Economic Research, September 2009
Cohort(s): Children of the NLSY79
Publisher: National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Keyword(s): Adolescent Behavior; Alcohol Use; Behavior Problems Index (BPI); CESD (Depression Scale); Child Self-Administered Supplement (CSAS); Children, Academic Development; Children, Behavioral Development; Delinquency/Gang Activity; Depression (see also CESD); Drug Use; Home Observation for Measurement of Environment (HOME); Modeling, Fixed Effects; Mothers, Behavior; Peabody Individual Achievement Test (PIAT- Math); Peabody Individual Achievement Test (PIAT- Reading); Propensity Scores; Siblings

Also presented: Boston, MA, Health Economics Seminar, March 2009, and at the University of Lausanne, 2009.

Recent models of human capital formation represent a synthesis of the human capital approach and a life cycle view of human development that is grounded in neuroscience (Heckman 2007). This model of human development, the stability of the home and parental mental health can have notable impacts on skill development in children that may affect the stock of human capital in adults (Knudsen, Heckman et al. 2006; Heckman 2007). We study effects of maternal depression and substance abuse on children born to mothers in the initial cohort of the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY), a national household survey of high school students aged 14-22 in 1979. We follow 1587 children aged 1-5 in 1987, observing them throughout childhood and into high school. We employ a variety of methods to identify the effect of maternal depression and substance abuse on child behavioral, cognitive, and educational related outcomes. We find no evidence that maternal symptoms of depression affect contemporaneous cognitive scores in children. However, maternal depression symptoms have a moderately large effect on child behavioral problems. These findings suggest that the social benefits of effective behavioral health interventions may be understated. Based on evidence linking early life outcomes to later well-being, efforts to prevent and/or treat mental and addictive disorders in mothers and other women of childbearing age have the potential to improve outcomes of their children not only early in life, but throughout the life cycle.

Bibliography Citation
Frank, Richard G. and Ellen Meara. "The Effect of Maternal Depression and Substance Abuse on Child Human Capital Development." NBER Working Paper No. 15314, National Bureau of Economic Research, September 2009.
2. Frank, Richard G.
Meara, Ellen
The Impact of Maternal Depression and Substance Abuse on Cognitive, Behavioral, and Educational Outcomes of Children
Presented: Washington, DC, AcademyHealth Research Conference, June 9-10, 2008
Cohort(s): Children of the NLSY79
Publisher: AcademyHealth
Keyword(s): Adolescent Behavior; Alcohol Use; Behavior Problems Index (BPI); CESD (Depression Scale); Child Self-Administered Supplement (CSAS); Children, Academic Development; Children, Behavioral Development; Delinquency/Gang Activity; Depression (see also CESD); Drug Use; Grandparents; Home Observation for Measurement of Environment (HOME); Modeling, Fixed Effects; Mothers, Behavior; Peabody Individual Achievement Test (PIAT- Math); Peabody Individual Achievement Test (PIAT- Reading); School Suspension/Expulsion; Variables, Instrumental

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

Study Design: We use instrumental variables models (IV) to estimate causal links between maternal behavioral health (symptoms of depression, evidence of alcohol abuse or dependence, and heavy use of marijuana) and measures of cognitive, behavioral, and educational outcomes in children (age-standardized test scores in math and reading, behavioral problems, measures of delinquency, expulsion, grade repetition, and completion of high school by age 18). Specifically, we use information on the mental health status and alcoholism of maternal grandparents and the presence of symptoms of mental and addictive disorders early in a mother's life as instruments for depression and substance abuse in motherhood in models of child outcomes described above. Our models of child outcomes also control for maternal demographics and household characteristics.

Population Studied: Two cohorts of children born to mothers in the initial cohort of the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY), a national household survey of high school students aged 14-22 in 1979. We follow 3,228 children aged 1-5 in 1987 and 2,737 children aged 1-5 in 1992, observing them through age 18-22 (Cohort 1) and 13-17 (Cohort 2).

Bibliography Citation
Frank, Richard G. and Ellen Meara. "The Impact of Maternal Depression and Substance Abuse on Cognitive, Behavioral, and Educational Outcomes of Children." Presented: Washington, DC, AcademyHealth Research Conference, June 9-10, 2008.