Early-Onset Psychiatric Disorders and Male Socioeconomic Status

Rukmalie Jayakody, Sheldon Danziger, Ronald C. Kessler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


We seek to integrate economic, sociological and psychological models by examining whether early-onset psychiatric disorders predict adult male socioeconomic status. Unlike most status attainment studies, we include information on major psychiatric disorders. We use data from the National Comorbidity Survey, the first survey to administer a structured psychiatric interview to a national probability sample in the U.S. Our sample includes men between the ages of 25 and 54. We find that disorders that occur before age 16 reduce educational attainment and the probability of being currently married and increase the probability of having a recent disorder, each of which is a predictor of adult male unemployment. We also find that these early-onset disorders have a direct negative effect on male employment. The estimated magnitudes of these effects are often as large as those of family background variables, suggesting that research on adult male SES should pay greater attention to mental health issues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)371-387
Number of pages17
JournalSocial Science Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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