The Mental Health of Men: Profiles and Life Trajectories of Urban American Fathers

Marilyn Sinkewicz, Columbia University

With only scant knowledge of the mental health conditions of the male population, policymakers in the United States search for remedies to address the needs of men and their families. Policy formulation, ranging from active labor market strategies and child support enforcement to more recent welfare and marriage dicta, often ignores mental health or is hampered by a dearth of theoretically guided research based on empirical evidence. To inform the development of effective policies and programs for fathers, this paper uses data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (FFCWS) to: (1) draw a detailed mental profile of urban American fathers by determining the prevalence and co-morbidity of depression, anxiety and substance abuse at 3 time periods; and (2) estimate the extent to which depression, anxiety and substance abuse can be thought to cause earnings and employment. Subgroup analyzes are performed by race, poverty status and father-mother relationship status.

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Presented in Poster Session 1: Aging, Life Course, Health, Mortality, and Health Care