This paper examines how maternal depression affects children's test scores and socioemotional outcomes. An empirical challenge surrounding this research is to address the omission of unobserved factors affecting both maternal depression and child outcomes. By implementing bounding, an underutilized estimation technique not previously applied to maternal depression studies, I am able to generate ranges of the causal impact of maternal depression on child test scores and socioemotional outcomes. Primary findings include moderately-sized reductions in children's socioemotional measures and slight reductions in children's test scores when a mother reported any level of depression in single-period analyses, an increase in magnitude of the findings for kindergarten students as severity of depression increased, and larger impacts on reading scores of third graders when their mother was depressed in multiple time periods.
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© 2016 Elsevier Ltd
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- Cognitive ability
- Human capital
- Maternal depression
- Socioemotional outcomes
- Unobservable selection