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KDI 경제정보센터

ENG
  • 경제배움
  • Economic

    Information

    and Education

    Center

최신자료
School Closures and Parental Mental Health
NBER
2024.06.20
Schools enhance the lives of families in various ways, and one potential consequence of their closures is worsened parental well-being. We study the effects of COVID-19 pandemic school closures on parental mental health by measuring consumption of products that are often used to cope with increased stress and depression. Using a cohort based difference in difference (DID) design and commercial claims data, we find an increase in maternal anti-depressant use by 1.5%, in zip codes with above median school closures; there are no statistically significant effects for paternal antidepressant use, and we are able to rule out fairly small values. Some parents may "self-medicate" as a coping mechanism rather than seek formal medical care. Using a county based DID design and retail scanner data, we find alcohol sales increased by 2% in counties with above median school closures. Both anti-depressant prescriptions and alcohol sales returned to base line levels as in-person schooling resumed. We explore whether the burdens of school closures were disparately concentrated in minoritized communities, and find that anti-depressant and alcohol use increases were concentrated in zip codes with above median Black and Asian populations, but not in zip codes with a predominantly White or Hispanic population. Overall, these results suggest that the school system plays an important role in maintaining population mental well-being outcomes and in helping families cope with stress.