Understanding the relationship between income and mental health among 16- to 24-year-olds: Analysis of 10 waves (2009-2020) of Understanding Society to enable modelling of income interventions

Parra Mujica, Fiorella, Johnson, Elliott, Reed, Howard, Cookson, Richard and Johnson, Matthew (2022) Understanding the relationship between income and mental health among 16- to 24-year-olds: Analysis of 10 waves (2009-2020) of Understanding Society to enable modelling of income interventions. PLoS ONE. ISSN 1932-6203 (In Press)

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Abstract

A substantial body of evidence suggests that young people, including those at the crucial transition points between 16 and 24, now face severe mental health challenges. In this article, we analyse data from 10 waves of a major UK longitudinal household cohort study, Understanding Society, to examine the relationship between income and anxiety and depression among 16- to 24-year-olds. Using random effects logistic regression (Model 1) allowing for whether the individual was depressed in the previous period as well as sex, age, ethnicity, whether the individual was born in the UK, region, rurality, highest qualification, marital status, employment status and attrition, we find a significant and inversely monotonic adjusted association between average net equivalised household income quintiles and clinical threshold levels of depressive symptoms SF-12 Mental Component Summary (MCS score ≤45.6). This means that being in a higher income group is associated with a reduced likelihood of clinically significant depressive symptoms, allowing for observable confounding variables. Using a ‘within-between’ model (Model 2), we find that apart from among those with the very highest incomes, increases in average net equivalised household income over the course of childhood and adolescence are significantly associated with reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression as measured by a higher SF-12 MCS score. Compared with previous reviews, the data presented here provides an estimate of the magnitude of effect that helps facilitate microsimulation modelling of impact on anxiety and depression from changes in socioeconomic circumstances. This enables a more detailed and complete understanding of the types of socioeconomic intervention that might begin to address some of the causes of youth mental health problems.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: This research was kindly funded by the Wellcome Trust as part of ‘Assessing the prospective impacts of Universal Basic Income on anxiety and depression among 14-24-year-olds’ (grant number 223553/Z/21/Z).
Uncontrolled Keywords: Income inequality, health inequalities, child and adolescent mental health, health modelling, longitudinal analysis
Subjects: C800 Psychology
L900 Others in Social studies
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Social Sciences
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2022 11:19
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2022 11:30
URI: https://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/50956

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