Mental health declining among disadvantaged adults

By B. Rose Kelly

American adults of low socioeconomic status report increasing mental distress and worsening well-being, according to a study by Princeton University and Georgetown University.

Between the mid-1990s and early 2010s, mental health declined among disadvantaged Americans ages 24 to 76, according to self- reports. As individuals’ socioeconomic status increased, their mental health deterioration lessened or, in some cases, even improved. The findings were highlighted in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in June 2018.

“The findings are consistent with drug overdose death rates and underscore the dire need for improved access to, and affordability of, mental health services for low-income and less-educated American adults of all ages,” said Noreen Goldman, the Hughes-Rogers Professor of Demography and Public Affairs at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

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