The Effect of Being an Only Child on Adolescent Mental Health: Evidence from the Chinese Family Panel Studies

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Title: The Effect of Being an Only Child on Adolescent Mental Health: Evidence from the Chinese Family Panel Studies
Authors: Wang, Yiqiao
Date: 2014-12-31
Abstract: This study was undertaken to determine whether or not the negative relationship between being an only child and adolescent mental health that has been found in previous studies holds true in the Chinese context, using an instrumental variable technique to identify causality. I examined a total of 3,262 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 from 25 provinces in China using the China Family Panel Studies (CFPS). Mental health status was measured using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CES-D) score and its four components: the somatic symptoms score, the depressed affect score, the positive affect score, and the interpersonal problems score. Contrary to most of the previous studies, I find no significant difference between adolescents who are only children and adolescents who have siblings for three of the measures of mental health (somatic symptoms, depressed affect, and interpersonal problems) considered. Furthermore, where differences are found (overall CES-D and positive affect), I find that adolescents who are only children possess better mental health. Urban children show significantly better mental health than rural children. Children who are 14 years of age appear to be those with relatively worse reported mental health, an effect which is more significant among girls.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/32042
CollectionScience économique - Mémoires // Economics - Research Papers
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