SANTA MONICA, Calif., May 14 (UPI) — U.S. researchers say childhood psychological problems have a long-term impact and the economic consequences total $2.1 trillion.
Lead author James P. Smith of the Rand Corp., a non-profit research organization, says the researchers analyzed data from a large study that has tracked 5,000 U.S. families for more than 40 years. The researchers were able to track one sibling with childhood psychological problems to a brother or sister who did not have such problems.
People who reported psychological problems during childhood — about one in 20 adults — averaged $10,400 less income per year, were 11 percentage points less likely to marry and average one fewer semester of education.
“This study shows childhood psychological disorders can cause significant long-lasting harm and can have far-reaching impact on individuals over their lifetimes,” Smith said in a statement. “Our findings illustrate what the enormous potential might be of identifying and treating these problems early in life.”
The findings are published online in the journal Social Science & Medicine.
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