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Modelling Heterogeneity in the Resilience to Major Socioeconomic Life Events

Fabrice Etilé (), Paul Frijters (), David W. Johson and Michael Shields
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David W. Johson: Monash University [Malaysia]

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Abstract: Using a novel, dynamic finite mixture model applied to 12 years of nationally representative panel data, we explore individual heterogeneity in the total psychological response (our measure of resilience) to ten major adverse life events, including serious illness, redundancy and crime victimisation. Importantly, this model takes into account that individuals are not randomly selected into adverse events, that some events are anticipated in advance of their occurrence, and that the immediate psychological response and the speed of adaptation may differ across individuals. Additionally, we generate a ‘standardised event' in order to document the distribution of general resilience in the population. We find considerable heterogeneity in the response to adverse events, with the total psychological loss of people with low resilience being several times larger than the average loss. We also find that resilience is strongly correlated with clinical measures of mental health, but only weakly correlated with cognitive and non-cognitive traits. Finally, we find that resilience in adulthood to some extent is predictable by childhood socioeconomic circumstances; the strongest predictor we identify is good childhood health.

Keywords: Psychological Health; Resilience; Life Events; Childhood; Panel; Data; Mixture Model (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hea, nep-hpe, nep-neu and nep-sea
Date: 2017-03
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01485989
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