Great Recession Took Toll on Children's Mental Health

Children growing up during the Great Recession are believed to have faced a statistically significant uptick in their odds of developing mental or emotional health difficulties, according to a new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research that indicates kids are hardly immune to economic downturns.

Researchers found that children's mental health status "declines as economic conditions deteriorate, and this result is pervasive across nearly every subgroup we examine, including families least likely to experience job loss."

The study's ultimate finding: A one-standard deviation improvement in state-level economic conditions – which translates into, for example, a 1.5 percentage-point drop in unemployment – translates into a 7.4 to 10.4 percent reduction in children's likelihood of developing psychological problems.

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