Psychological distress and the increased risk of falling into poverty: a longitudinal study of Australian adults

Callander, Emily J., and Schofield, Deborah J. (2015) Psychological distress and the increased risk of falling into poverty: a longitudinal study of Australian adults. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 50 (10). pp. 1547-1556.

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Abstract

Purpose: To identify whether psychological distress is associated with an increased risk of falling into poverty, giving a more complete picture of how psychological distress affects living standards.

Methods: Longitudinal analysis of the nationally representative Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australian (HILDA) survey using Poisson regression models to estimate relative risk of falling into income poverty and multidimensional poverty between 2007 and 2012. The sample was limited to those who were not already in income poverty in 2007. Psychological distress was identified using the Kessler-10 (K10) scale.

Results: After adjusting for confounding factors, having moderate psychological distress increased the risk of falling into income poverty by 1.62 (95 % CI 1.31–2.01, p < 0.0001) and the risk of falling into multidimensional poverty by 1.85 (95 % CI 1.37–2.48, p < 0.0001); having very high psychological distress increased the risk of falling into income poverty by 2.40 (95 % CI 1.80–3.20, p < 0.0001) and the risk of falling into multidimensional poverty by 3.68 (95 % CI 2.63–5.15, p < 0.0001), compared to those with low psychological distress. Those who did experience income poverty (RR: 1.29, 95 % CI 1.04–1.61, p = 0.0210) and those who experienced multidimensional poverty (RR: 1.69, 95 % CI 1.32–2.17, p < 0.0001) had an increased risk of having their level of psychological distress increase further compared to those who did not experience poverty.

Conclusion: To date, the increased risk of falling into poverty that is associated with elevated levels of psychological distress has been an overlooked burden of the condition.

Item ID: 41161
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1433-9285
Keywords: depression; Kessler K-10; poverty, income, SF36, longitudinal analysis
Funders: National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC)
Projects and Grants: NHMRC APP1052742
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2015 03:50
FoR Codes: 14 ECONOMICS > 1402 Applied Economics > 140208 Health Economics @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920408 Health Status (e.g. Indicators of Well-Being) @ 50%
91 ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK > 9102 Microeconomics > 910209 Preference, Behaviour and Welfare @ 50%
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