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Income inequality and depressive symptoms in South Africa: a longitudinal analysis of the national income dynamics study

Income inequality and depressive symptoms in South Africa: a longitudinal analysis of the national income dynamics study

Adjaye-Gbewonyo, Kafui ORCID: 0000-0002-8919-6518, Avendano, Mauricio, Subramanian, S V and Kawachi, Ichiro (2016) Income inequality and depressive symptoms in South Africa: a longitudinal analysis of the national income dynamics study. Health and Place, 42. pp. 37-46. ISSN 1353-8292 (Print), 1353-8292 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.healthplace.2016.08.013)

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Abstract

Research suggests that income inequality may detrimentally affect mental health. We examined the relationship between district-level income inequality and depressive symptoms among individuals in South Africa-one of the most unequal countries in the world-using longitudinal data from Wave 1 (2008) and Wave 3 (2012) of the National Income Dynamics Study. Depressive symptoms were measured using the Center for Epidemiological Studies of Depression Short Form while district Gini coefficients were estimated from census and survey sources. Age, African population group, being single, being female, and having lower household income were independently associated with higher depressive symptoms. However, in longitudinal, fixed-effects regression models controlling for several factors, district-level Gini coefficients were not significantly associated with depressive symptoms scores. Our results do not support the hypothesis of a causal link between income inequality and depressive symptoms in the short-run. Possible explanations include the high underlying levels of inequality in all districts, or potential lags in the effect of inequality on depression.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: income inequality, depression, South Africa, longitudinal,
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Institute for Lifecourse Development
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Institute for Lifecourse Development > Centre for Chronic Illness and Ageing
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > School of Human Sciences (HUM)
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2021 12:01
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/34511

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