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October 23, 2019

Reflections on the Link Between Income During Childhood and Risk of Developing Schizophrenia

Author Affiliations
  • 1Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Psychiatry. 2020;77(1):11-12. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2019.2968

In this issue of JAMA Psychiatry, Hakulinen and colleagues1 assembled a comprehensive longitudinal data set using a range of Danish administrative data to study the link between household income during childhood and the likelihood that children will develop schizophrenia. They offer persuasive evidence of an association between persistent low household income and the likelihood of developing schizophrenia. They also find that upward income mobility at all starting income levels is negatively associated with the risk of schizophrenia. Thus, it is persistent low income that is especially damaging to mental health.

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