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Psychological problems affect future lives: study

05-18-2010 14:14 BJT

LOS ANGELES, May 17 (Xinhua) -- Children who experience psychological disorders will have more mishaps in future lives, a new study suggests.

Tear stains are seen on the face of a child at the orphanage "solidarity and fraternity" in Port-au-Princes, capital of Haiti, Jan. 30, 2010. (Xinhua File Photo)
Tear stains are seen on the face of a child at the orphanage "solidarity 
and fraternity" in Port-au-Princes, capital of Haiti, Jan. 30, 2010. 
(Xinhua File Photo)

Children who experience mental health difficulties like depression and substance abuse are more likely to have lower pay, fewer marriages and more trouble in maximizing their educational opportunities, according to the study by researchers at RAND Corp., a non-profit think-tank near Los Angeles.

The conclusion was based on general data and a 2007 survey gathered by a large ongoing study that tracked 5,000 American families for four decades, the researchers said in the study published in the May issue of Social Science & Medicine.

The study included siblings from the same family, which permitted a comparative look at brothers and/or sisters with and without psychological problems during childhood. Six percent of the participants had coped with psychological problems as children.

Four percent said they experienced depression, and two percent abused alcohol or drugs. Another two percent said they had dealt with other psychological issues.

Those with a history of psychological difficulty while young are likely to see their lifetime income diminished by as much as 20 percent, which means that they may earn an average of more than 10,000 less per year as adults compared with their trouble-free siblings, according to the study.

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