Childhood Adversities and Educational Attainment in Young Adulthood: The Role of Mental Health Problems in Adolescence

Karin Veldman*, Ute Bultmann, Josue Almansa, Sijmen A. Reijneveld

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: The aims of this study were to examine whether the association between childhood adversities and educational attainment in young adulthood can be explained by mental health problems in adolescence and whether associations and pathways differ for boys and girls.

Methods: Data were used of 2,230 participants from the Tracking Adolescents' Individual Lives Survey, a Dutch prospective cohort study with a 9-year follow-up. Childhood adversities were measured at age 11 years, mental health problems (i.e., externalizing, internalizing and attention problems with Youth Self-Report) at age 16 years, and educational attainment at age 19 years. Structural equation modeling was performed to analyze the data, overall and stratified by gender.

Results: Only among boys, childhood adversities were associated with low educational attainment in young adulthood. Externalizing problems in adolescence explained 5% of the association between childhood adversities and educational attainment. Furthermore, for both boys and girls, externalizing problems in adolescence had a direct effect on educational attainment in young adulthood.

Conclusions: Among boys, childhood adversities are associated with poorer educational outcomes of young adults. A part of this association runs via adolescent externalizing problems. The results suggest that boys, compared with girls, are less capable to cope with childhood adversities. Monitoring of exposed boys to childhood adversities is of utmost importance. (C) 2015 Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)462-467
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Volume57
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov-2015

Keywords

  • Childhood adversities
  • Mental health problems
  • Educational attainment
  • Life-course perspective
  • INDIVIDUAL-LIVES SURVEY
  • PSYCHIATRIC-DISORDERS
  • EXTERNALIZING PROBLEMS
  • EFFORTFUL CONTROL
  • NATIONAL SAMPLE
  • COLLEGE DEGREE
  • CHILDREN
  • CONSEQUENCES
  • DETERMINANTS
  • TRAJECTORIES

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