Emerging research suggests depression in adulthood may be tied to a parent’s level of education.
Amélie Quesnel-Vallée, Ph.D., a medical sociologist from McGill University, and co-researcher Miles Taylor reviewed 29 years of data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979.
In their analysis, they reviewed associations between a parent’s education level and their children’s education level, household income and depressive symptoms. They discovered that higher levels of parental education meant fewer mental health issues for their adult children.
“However, we also found much of that association may be due to the fact that parents with more education tend to have children with more education and better paying jobs themselves,” said Quesnel-Vallée.
“What this means is that the whole process of climbing up the social ladder that is rooted in a parent’s education is a crucial pathway for the mental health of adult children.”
Researchers believe these findings imply that improving educational opportunities for everyone, but especially the underprivileged, could stop the vicious cycle between low social economic status and poor mental health.
“Children don’t get to choose where they come from. I think we have a responsibility to address health inequalities borne out of the conditions of early childhood,” said Quesnel-Vallée.
The paper was recently published in the journal Social Science & Medicine.
Source: McGill University