Depressed kids earn less money later

Study: Psychological disorders can cause long-lasting harm

Children with psychological disorders, such as depression, are less likely to marry and will earn less on average as adults than their mentally healthy counterparts, a new study suggests.

The lost income adds up, as the researchers calculated $2.1 trillion in economic loss for the one in 20 Americans who experience these psychological problems as children, over their lifetimes.

“This study shows childhood psychological disorders can cause significant long-lasting harm and can have far-reaching impact on individuals over their lifetimes,” said study researcher James P. Smith, the corporate chair of economics at RAND, a nonprofit research organization. “Our findings illustrate what the enormous potential might be of identifying and treating these problems early in life.”