CitationLeupp, Katrina & McCall, James (2019). Falling Behind and Treading Water: Education and the Gender Gap in Depression and Drinking.
AbstractGiven the importance of education and employment for mental health, have women’s increased rates of college attainment and full-time employment relative to men narrowed the gender gap in depression? This study examines young adults’ depressive symptoms and the protective effects of education and employment, comparing Baby Boomer to Generation X and Millennial men and women when members of each cohort were ages 27-32. Drawing on data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1979 Cohort and the Adolescent to Adult Health Survey, our analyses indicate the gender gap in depression for young adults declined by almost half between 1992 and 2008. This convergence, however, was driven by a worsening of men’s depression rather than improvements in women’s. The salubriousness of employment and education for women remained relatively stable over time and was robust to controls for prior mental health. Results suggest the increased educational attainment and full-time employment of Generation X and Millennial women relative to men’s stemmed the tide of an overall worsening of depression during early adulthood for recent cohorts.
Reference TypeConference paper
Book TitleAmerican Sociological Association Annual Meeting