The Impact on Educational Attainment of Mental Health Problems in Adolescence

Kristine von Simson, Institute for Social Research
Idunn I.B. Brekke , Division of Child Health and Development, Norwegian Institute of Public Health
Ines Hardoy, Institute for Social Research

In this study, we examine the impact of diagnosed internalizing and externalizing behavior problems on educational attainment. We question if the impact of mental health problems varies by type of diagnosis, gender and educational track using administrative register data. The sample in the present study consists of full cohorts of youth in Norway 15 to 18 years old in the period 2008-2011 (N=303 969). For these teenagers we have access to several individual registers such as the historical event database FD-trygd (individual data on welfare benefits, labour market participation, income and demographics) and The National education database (NUDB). Importantly this data is merged to the Norwegian patient register (NPR) to obtain mental health information on these youth. The analyses are performed using logistic regression analysis. We present the results both on the relative and absolute scales (odds ratios and average marginal effects). The findings show that youth with mental health problems spend more than the expected time to complete an upper secondary education, they are less likely to not have completed upper secondary school by age 21, and they are less likely to start in higher education. These results applies to both boys and girls. Finally, the findings revel that externalizing behavior problems seems to have a more adverse effect than internalizing behaviour problems on educational attainment.

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 Presented in Session P3. Poster Session Migration, Economics, Environment, Methods, History and Policy