Sunday 4 December 2016

Health of children was affected by the economic crash

Published 20/10/2015 | 02:30

The economic crash had a detrimental effect on the mental health and anxiety levels in the nation’s children. Picture posed
The economic crash had a detrimental effect on the mental health and anxiety levels in the nation’s children. Picture posed

The economic crash had a detrimental effect on the mental health and anxiety levels in the nation's children.

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A new report shows that the financial and psychological strains put on parents during the downturn created a home environment that negatively impacted on their offspring.

The study followed 20,000 children and families during the darkest days of the recession - and, according to researchers ,"clearly shows" how falling incomes and unemployment created "sour" home environments.

The report reveals that worsening mental health among parents "soured relationships between couples as well as creating harsher and less warm parenting" dynamics across the socio-economic divide.

"These poor relationships were hugely damaging to child mental health, increasing levels of child anxiety and emotional problems as well as contributing to poor behaviour and conduct both at home and in the classroom," the reports reveals.

The worrying data, which is to be unveiled by ESRI and Trinity researchers today, was compiled between 2008 and 2011 as part of the Growing Up in Ireland programme.

It says that anxious, unhappy children do worse in school, often with long-term consequences for wealth and health.

However, it is not yet known how permanent the effects of the recession have been.

The number of mothers showing clinical levels of depression increased by a staggering 84pc while the risk to fathers was lower at 61pc.

Meanwhile, 29pc of mothers reported cutting back on basics, with 8pc being behind on rent or mortgage payments. A further 12pc reported being behind with utility bills.

Irish Independent

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