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Author: Garrett, Alma Bowen
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1. Garrett, Alma Bowen
Essays in the Economics of Child Mental Health
Ph.D. Dissertation, Columbia University, 1996
Cohort(s): Children of the NLSY79, NLSY79
Publisher: UMI - University Microfilms, Bell and Howell Information and Learning
Keyword(s): Aid for Families with Dependent Children (AFDC); Behavior Problems Index (BPI); Child Health; Children, Health Care; Family Structure; Family Studies; Health, Mental/Psychological; Household Composition; Household Models; Household Structure; Marital Status; Parental Influences; Social Security; Welfare

Chapter one introduces the dissertation, reviews the literature on the prevalence and economic consequences of mental disorders, and describes some policy issues in child mental health care. Empirical analyses in this study use the National Institute of Mental Health's Cooperative Agreement for Methodological Epidemiology for Multi-Site Surveys of Mental Disorders in Child and Adolescent (MECA) Study and the combined mother-child sample of the National Longitudinal Survey of Labor Market Experience (NLSY). Chapter two considers methodological issues in the use of measures of mental health status of children in service use regressions. An interviewer-rated measure of child mental health impairment, the Non-Clinician Parent Interviewer's Child Global Assessment Scale (PI-CGAS), is found to strongly predict child mental health service use and to suffer less from rater-bias than other measures considered. Additional analyses show that maternal education and past use of mental health services affect whether the mother attributes certain child behaviors to a mental disorder. Chapter three develops a household production model of child mental health. Parental characteristics, such as potential wages, are found to affect the use of mental health services for children in two-parent households more strongly than for children in single-parent households. Child behavioral problems are found to reduce the likelihood of employment for married mothers, with no effect for unmarried mothers. Chapter four examines the relationship between child emotional and behavioral problems and family structure. Children with emotional and behavioral disorders are more likely to live in households in which the parents argue, in households headed by a single parent, and in households with a step-father. Child behavioral disorders are found to increase the likelihood of divorce or separation and decrease the likelihood that single mothers will marry. Chapter five examines a rece nt expansion in child SSI participation resulting from U.S. Supreme Court decision Sullivan v. Zebley. Empirical analyses of state level data find that SSI grew more rapidly in states with low AFDC payments and that more than half of new SSI recipients were already eligible for AFDC payments. Chapter six concludes the dissertation with a discussion of the policy implications of the findings.
Bibliography Citation
Garrett, Alma Bowen. Essays in the Economics of Child Mental Health. Ph.D. Dissertation, Columbia University, 1996.