When children experience one or more psychological issues, there are many potential side effects and consequences to monitor, as the issue can reach into nearly all areas of life and may have an impact on a child’s well-being. This impact may carry into adulthood, too, suggests a study recently based at the non-profit research organization RAND, which looked at the social and economic conditions experienced by adults who had grappled with a psychological concern as a child.
The research was based on an extensive long-term survey spanning forty years in which participants were asked various questions about their mental health and their general lifestyle and other demographic information. The survey included information from families, allowing researchers to make comparisons between adults who had experienced psychological difficulty as a child, and any siblings who had not shared such experiences. The results show that those children who were affected by depression and other issues during childhood were significantly more likely to earn less money each year, and they were also more likely to have a drug or alcohol abuse issue, more likely to have a shorter education, and more likely and to be unmarried.
While the researchers note that their work does not propose that all children who experience psychological concerns in their youth will necessarily grow up to have related issues, the likelihood of struggling with a number of socio-economic attributes is far greater for such children as compared to siblings who did not undergo similar experiences. The work highlights the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of mental health concerns, and also suggests that better support and assistance initiatives may be needed to help young adults recovering from these concerns achieve their goals in relationships, in education, and in the workplace.
© Copyright 2010 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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