Category: Child / Adolescent - Anxiety
The aim of the current study was to examine the economic impact of pediatric anxiety on parents’ employment. Parents often play a key role in accommodating their children’s anxiety which ranges in intensity, from leaving work early in order to pick anxious children up at school to staying home from work entirely to avoid the child being alone when they are absent from school. Although literature exists examining the economic impact of various childhood psychiatric disorders (e.g. autistic spectrum disorder, conduct disorder & attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), little research has been conducted examining the caregiver costs associated with pediatric anxiety disorders. To fill this gap, we examined the impact of pediatric anxiety on costs associated with parents’ missed work.
Participants included parents of anxious youth enrolled in a school-based randomized control trial examining two school-based anxiety treatments. At the baseline time point, two hundred and fifteen parents (N = 215) completed a battery of questionnaires including a measure of partial and full days of work missed in the previous month due to their child’s anxiety. Additionally, the frequency and cost of child care for missed work was examined.
Results showed that 19.5% (n = 42) of parents reported at least one partial day of missed work in the last month. Parents reported missing an average of 1.8 partial (sd = 1.0) and 2.0 full days of work (sd = 1.7) in the last month; at an implied cost of $430(sd = $395). No parents reported hiring a caregiver due to their child’s absence from school. Results appear to be consistent with other economic studies across child psychopathology. These findings highlight not only the financial cost to parents but also the negative impact on job performance and productivity. Additional implications will be discussed in the context of the economic burden of illness to parents associated with missing work, the costs of treatment and absenteeism from school.
Jeffery Pella– Assistant Professor, University of Connecticut, West Hartford, Connecticut
Paige Pikulski– Research Assistant, University of Connecticut, West Hartford, Connecticut
Elizabeth Casline– Research Assistant, University of Connecticut, West Hartford, Connecticut
Eric Slade– Associate Professor, University of Maryland, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Kelly Drake– Anxiety Treatment Center of Maryland
Golda Ginsburg– Professor, University of Connecticut, West Hartford, Connecticut
University of Connecticut
West Hartford, Connecticut
University of Maryland, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs