Low Socioeconomic Status Linked to Poor Mental Health
- The study shows that between the mid-1990s and early 2010s, reports of mental health declined among disadvantaged Americans aged 24 to 76.
- As socioeconomic status increased however, mental health improved or slowed in worsening.
According to co-lead author Noreen Goldman, the Hughes-Rogers Professor of Demography and Public Affairs at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, “Our results paint a picture of substantial social stratification in the psychological health of American adults, one that has been widening as declines in mental health have occurred unevenly across the socioeconomic spectrum.”
“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.”
The researchers of this study looked at measures of distress and well-being in order to capture mental health. They compared interviews with adults in 1995 and 1996 with another sample between 2011 and 2014, which was a period of rising substance abuse.
The results showed the influence of socioeconomic status. Both studies revealed that disadvantaged adults reported higher levels of distress and lower levels of well-being.
Distress also increased among disadvantaged adults between these two time periods. Those of higher socioeconomic status experienced less change and some had increased well-being.
The researchers believe it is possible that the drug epidemic disproportionately affected the psychological well-being of these disadvantaged Americans.
Dana Glei of Georgetown’s Center for Population and Health said, “Yet, despite recurring references to distress or despair, there has been little analysis of whether psychological health among American adults has worsened over the past two decades. We wondered: Are Americans suffering from a rising tide of despair?”
Individuals experiencing homelessness often face even higher levels of distress and despair then disadvantaged adults who are not homeless.
If you are concerned by disadvantaged Americans becoming increasingly distressed, you should attend the July 25th, a Congressional Reception where impact speakers will be discussing how affordable housing transformed their battles with depression, addiction, and other issues.
The event will be held at the Dirksen Senate Auditorium in Washington D.C. This event will allow New Jersey residents who are working poor, below the poverty line and or impacted by homelessness to urge their elected officials in Washington to make No Cuts to Housing and remind them that Oportunity Starts at Home.
We know that by joining together and amplifying our voices, we can have an impact on the decisions that are made in Washington DC. Join Monarch Housing Associates and our 35 partners from New Jersey to make the case that homelessness is solvable a problem. The federal government must be a full partner in ensuring an adequate breadth of services are available to prevent children, people with disabilities, the elderly, and all of our neighbors in NJ from experiencing the homelessness.
Register today to attend the Congressional Reception. Everyone needs to register even if you are traveling on your own.
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