The prevalence of common mental disorders is on the rise: in the last decade mental disorders have become one of the major contributors to the global burden of disease and the leading cause of disability worldwide. While the association between depressive symptoms and physical health has been the subject of many studies, little is known about the potential pathways through which physical health affects mental health and how this relationship varies across different socioeconomic groups. This study aims at investigating on the role that a higher educational level may have not only in protecting people from depressive and anxiety symptoms but also on its role in mediating the relationship between mental and physical health shocks. For the scope of our analysis, we relied on hospital administrative records collected from Liguria, a north-western Italian region. We evaluate the impact of education in protecting individuals from mental disorders when they experienced an adverse health event, such as severe hospitalization or an onset of a chronic condition. Our results suggest that among those who suffer from severe physical health issues, highly educated individuals are less likely to experience depressive and anxiety symptoms compared to those with a lower level of education, even though, in presence of an adverse health shock, the protecting role of education slightly decreases.

The role of education in psychological response to adverse health shocks

Leporatti L.;Montefiori M.
2021-01-01

Abstract

The prevalence of common mental disorders is on the rise: in the last decade mental disorders have become one of the major contributors to the global burden of disease and the leading cause of disability worldwide. While the association between depressive symptoms and physical health has been the subject of many studies, little is known about the potential pathways through which physical health affects mental health and how this relationship varies across different socioeconomic groups. This study aims at investigating on the role that a higher educational level may have not only in protecting people from depressive and anxiety symptoms but also on its role in mediating the relationship between mental and physical health shocks. For the scope of our analysis, we relied on hospital administrative records collected from Liguria, a north-western Italian region. We evaluate the impact of education in protecting individuals from mental disorders when they experienced an adverse health event, such as severe hospitalization or an onset of a chronic condition. Our results suggest that among those who suffer from severe physical health issues, highly educated individuals are less likely to experience depressive and anxiety symptoms compared to those with a lower level of education, even though, in presence of an adverse health shock, the protecting role of education slightly decreases.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/1075164
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