Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Committee Chair

Jeni Loftus

Committee Member

Joseph Lariscy

Committee Member

Wesley James


In recent years, the number of children diagnosed with mental health issues has grown. The American Academy of Pediatrics recently declared a national emergency in child and adolescent health. Much research has been done to explain this mental health crisis in American youth. This study examines the relationship between household composition and mental illnesses in children. For this study, data from the National Survey of Children’s Health are used. The variables of anxiety, depression, and behavioral problems are used as the dependent variables from this dataset. The independent variable is represented by family structure, and five control variables will be included. The variables controlled are race, gender, number of children in the household, access to healthcare, and income. I find a relationship between household composition and mental health diagnosis in school-aged children. This study found a significant association between children in two-parent (non-married), single-parent, grandparent households and a higher likelihood of a diagnosis of anxiety, depression, and behavioral problems compared to children in two-parent (married) households. This study could potentially lead to the advancement of mental health diagnoses and treatment.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest.


Open access