Health Services Research and Managerial Epidemiology
First page number:
Last page number:
Background: It is unknown whether recent increase in mortality and morbidity linked to mental despair (eg, suicide, opioid addiction, alcoholism) in midlife non-Hispanic whites (NHWs) was accompanied by declines in mental well-being of NHW children. The author examined aggregate trends in the mental well-being of NHW children between 2003 and 2018. Methods: The author used linear (unadjusted) regression to generate estimates of long period (ie, between 2003-2005 and 2016-2018) and annual change in mental well-being and self-assessed health from the National Health Interview Survey data on 68 057 NHW children (aged 4-17 years). Results: The NHW children showed no significant change in any of the tracked indicators (composite Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire [SDQ] 5-item score: long period: -0.03, 95% confidence interval [CI]: -0.09 to 0.02, annual: -0.00, 95% CI: -0.01 to 0.00; severe impairment in mental function: long period: 0.01, 95% CI: 0.00 to 0.02; subjective perception of overall health: long period: -0.01, 95% CI: -0.01 to -0.00). The author did not detect any gradient of worsening SDQ scores with parental midlife status and low parental education. However, the trends in SDQ scores in NHW children were slightly worse than those for children of other major race/ethnic groups. Conclusion: The author did not find evidence of worsening mental distress in NHW children overall or whose parents were in their midlives and less educated.
Child Mental Health; Self-Assessed Health; Health Disparities
Maternal and Child Health | Medicine and Health Sciences | Public Health
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Trends in Mental Well-Being of Non-Hispanic White Children of Midlife Parents With Low Education.
Health Services Research and Managerial Epidemiology, 7