Mental Health Across the Life Course and Across Cohorts in Taiwan: The Impacts of Education, Adult Children’s Education, and Economic Hardship

Wei-Pang Wang, University of Texas at Austin

Whether mental health diverges or converges across levels of education with age and whether this relationship exists in non-Western societies are much less known. This study consequently elaborates the temporal education-depression patterns on the Taiwanese middle-aged and elderly population and examines the effects of adult children’s education and of economic hardship on these patterns. Using the latent growth curve model with aging vectors techniques of the longitudinal data from the 1989-2003 Survey of Health and Living Status of the Elderly in Taiwan, the preliminary findings suggest: First, the effects of education on depression in Taiwan strengthen across age, with the adjustment of physical health. Second, the highly educated middle-aged cohorts have lower depression than their older cohorts counterparts. Third, economic hardship mediates the effects of education on the initial level of depression. Fourth, the strength of educational impacts is stronger among people with higher levels of economic hardship.

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Presented in Poster Session 2