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Teen Mental Health Linked to Educational Success

Teen Mental Health Linked to Educational SuccessAn award winning new study from a health economics professor examines the effects of adolescent health on educational outcomes.

Queen’s University researcher Steven Lehrer and Jason Fletcher of Yale University recently published their paper in the journal Forum for Health Economics & Policy.

“Our study shows that poor mental health in children and teenagers has a large impact on the length of time they will stay in school,” says Dr. Lehrer.

He notes a large number of school-based programs have recently been introduced to prevent childhood obesity through lifestyle changes, but suggests the net should be cast more widely.

“It’s important for policymakers to target health conditions that are not the easiest to identify – like inattention – but may have larger impacts on one’s future.”

The findings provide strong evidence that inattentive symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in childhood and depression in adolescents are linked to the number of years of completed schooling.

Dr. Lehrer says this points to potentially large benefits from childhood and adolescent health interventions that have not yet been identified.

“We focus on the link between health and education because unraveling the mechanisms linking the two will have important implications for policy design.”

In their study, the team introduces a new research design they call a “genetic lottery” identification strategy, based on the fact that at conception there are differences in genetic inheritance among siblings.

“While our paper uses this research design to estimate the relationship between health and education outcomes, we believe this identification has much wider applicability in a number of critical areas in both social science and health services research,” says Dr. Lehrer.

Teen Mental Health Linked to Educational Success

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). Teen Mental Health Linked to Educational Success. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 24, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
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