Working Paper

Societal Disruptions and Child Mental Health: Evidence from ADHD Diagnosis During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Abstract: We study how the societal disruptions of the Covid-19 pandemic impacted diagnosis of a prevalent childhood mental health condition, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Using both nationwide private health insurance claims and a state’s comprehensive electronic health records, we compare children exposed to the pandemic to same aged children prior to the pandemic. We find the pandemic reduced new ADHD diagnoses by 8.6% among boys and 11.0% among girls nationwide through February 2021. We further show that higher levels of in-person schooling in fall 2020 dampened the decline for girls but had no moderating effect for boys.

Keywords: child mental health; adhd; education; pandemic;

JEL Classification: I10; I18; I20;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Part of Series: Working Paper Series

Publication Date: 2023-01

Number: WP 2023-04