Call for Papers: JHR Special Issue on Causes and Consequences of Child Mental Health

Child mental health is one of the most important aspects of human capital development, and many mental health disorders first manifest in childhood or adolescence. Current events have brought child mental health to the forefront, and evidence-based understanding is needed more than ever. This special issue will focus on the causes and consequences of child mental health. The Journal of Human Resources is pleased to welcome Janet Currie (Princeton University) to serve as guest editor for the special issue.

Examples of studies about “causes” could potentially include:

    • The effects of parental circumstances such as educational attainment, job loss, stressful events, environmental exposures, availability of social programs, and parents’ own mental health.
    • The effects of parental behaviors (e.g., smoking, red-shirting, substance abuse, child maltreatment) or parental investments.
    • The effects of the child’s individual circumstances such as exposure to trauma, environmental toxicants, or peer influences (e.g., bullying).
    • Consideration of how these causes vary by race, ethnicity and/or income and how that affects mental health outcomes such as suicide rates.
    • Studies of intergenerational transmission of mental health problems.

Examples of studies about “consequences” could potentially include:

    • Long-term impacts of childhood mental health problems (including substance abuse) on the child, or on the next generation.
    • Social costs of mental health problems including impacts on rates of disability, health care costs, or crime.
    • Evaluations of the extent to which treatment or other intervention impacts child and family outcomes.

Study settings could include the United States or other rich countries, developing countries, and contemporary or historical periods. Proposals of 1500 words or less are due January 15, 2022. The proposal should include the question(s), research method, and any preliminary findings if available. Please email proposals to with the subject line: “JHR Special Issue on Child Mental Health.”

Accepted authors will be notified by February 15, 2022 and should be willing to commit to presenting a draft version of their papers at an in-person (pandemic conditions permitting) conference on July 7–8, 2022 at Princeton University. Reasonable travel stipends will be available. In order to be considered for inclusion in the JHR special issue, revised papers will be due December 1, 2022. All papers will be refereed.

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