How Recession Can Effect Mental Health

In contrast to recently published micro-level research suggesting that depression afflicts children as young as 3 years of age, researchers in Finland have looked at how economic recessions affect the mental health of kids and their families. These researchers found that reduced family income was a risk factor in childrens’ mental health. They concluded that the mediating variables were increased economic pressure and negative changes in parental mental health, marital interaction, and parenting quality. The researchers looked at 527 triads of children, their mothers and fathers, and controlled for the kids’ pre-recession mental health functioning.

In the U.S., suicide hotlines are noting a significant rise in the number of calls they are receiving since the beginning of the recession. The situation is serious enough to have warranted addition federal funding for suicide centers. More that one million dollars in extra funding is being provided to approximately 20 Crisis centers across the country.

Financial stress is typically cited as one of the most significant sources of marital stress. The recession has meant that nearly twice as many American’s are out of work. The unemployment rate is at 9.5% and is expected to reach 10% over the next year or so. It stands to reason that increased unemployment affects marital relations which in turn can effect the mental health and well being of children.

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