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Happy adolescents have more affluent parents

By on 31 October 2016

A child who’s raised by affluent parents has relatively few mental problems. That is concluded by scientists after investigating socio-economic and health-related data of 2060 adolescents.

To check if parental wealth indeed is an indicator for mental problems in a later life stage, the researchers investigated data of 2060 adolescents in the age of 18 to 27 years. Children of parents earning above average were shifted to the group of ‘wealthy’ parents. The ones with parents earning under average, were placed in the other.

The researchers write in their report that their conclusions help governments to identify high-risk groups, in order to create policies with more focus. According to the results, the ones growing up in relative poverty thus belong to these groups. They suffer more from anxiety and mood disorders.

Problems

In their report they also refer to other researches, which conclude that there’s a strong correlation between someone’s mental health and the way he behaves at school, develops sexually and does or does not use drugs or violence.

Children and teenagers that have psychological problems, would be more prone to stress and health problems in their future life. They would cope less well with inconvenient, traumatic events and other daily challenges. Their immune system would be relatively weak, facing a higher risk to get asthma or obesity.

Suffering from expectations?

Adolescents that grew up in a relative wealthy family, still have one Achilles’ heel: a significant part of the ‘rich people’s’ children that did not follow higher education, also suffer from mental problems.

The researchers tried to explain this finding: “The unexpected association between higher family wealth and worse mental health in this group may therefore reflect distress associated with the large incongruity between their socioeconomic background and their socioeconomic achievement (i.e., status inconsistency), or specific unobserved life circumstances that resulted in both educational difficulties and psychological distress”, they wrote.

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Bas van Essen
Frankfurt

Savingsmonitor is a news blog reporting about savings behavior and statistics across whole the European Union. Bas van Essen is responsible for the content. Bas is a former business reporter, who covered the Dutch startup scene, the job market and personal finance. Bas served the Dutch Financial Times ('Financieele Dagblad'), the Dutch 'Financiële Telegraaf', Sprout.nl, Intermediair.nl and IDG. He followed a Master Communication Science and MBA Big Data & Business Analytics at the University of Amsterdam.