The new results reveal large differences in mental disorders in children, and the differences were greater for boys than girls.
The large differences in mental disorders according to parents’ income are startling, especially considering that the income differences in Norway are relatively small compared to other countries, says Jonas Minet Kinge, researcher at the Centre for Fertility and Health, a Centre of Excellence at the NorwegianInstitute of Public Health and associate professor of health economics at the University of Oslo.
The researchers found that the diagnosis of ADHD contributed most to the differences in mental disorders, followed by anxiety and depression among children and adolescents. Nevertheless, all mental disorders were higher among children with low-income parents, compared with children from high-income families. The exception was eating disorders in girls, which had no connection with parents’ income.
This is the first time that the prevalence of mental disorders among children has been calculated for such detailed income groups in Norway and then analyzed to study potential explanatory mechanisms. It is also the first study to analyze subgroups, such as international adoptees, to examine differences in mental disorders according to the adoptive parents’ income.