Does treating maternal depression improve child health management? The case of pediatric asthma

J Health Econ. 2008 Jan;27(1):157-73. doi: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2007.03.005. Epub 2007 Apr 4.


Past studies have demonstrated an association between maternal depression and poor management of pediatric asthma. Using an instrumental variables strategy to address the endogeneity of depression treatment, I build on this literature to answer the question of whether treating maternal depression leads to an improvement in pediatric asthma management. I show that treatment of mother's depression improves management of child's asthma, resulting in a reduction in asthma costs in the 6-month period following diagnosis of $798 per asthmatic child whose mother is treated for depression.

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / economics
  • Asthma / therapy*
  • Child
  • Depressive Disorder / therapy*
  • Female
  • Florida
  • Health Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Least-Squares Analysis
  • Medicaid
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Patient Care Management
  • Patient Compliance / psychology*
  • United States