Do NEET experiences have adverse impacts on health? Evidence from Scotland
Feng, Z., Ralston, K., Dibben, C. & Raab, G. (2013) SHIP conference: Exploiting Existing Data for Health Research, University of St Andrews, UK, 28 - 30 August 2013 [SLS]
Young people who are not in employment, education or training (NEET) are a disadvantaged group and their experiences may have an adverse effect on later life. Therefore the NEET phenomenon has drawn considerable attention from academic researchers and policy makers in Britain and other countries. However, there have been theoretical arguments on the social and health consequences of the NEET experiences. So far, few studies have investigated the effect of NEET experiences on health and the limited empirical research has yielded mixed results. This paper aims to investigate whether experiences of being NEET have adverse effects on health in the Scottish context, where the prevalence of NEETs is persistently high in comparison with other parts of Britain. We used the Scottish Longitudinal Study (SLS), a 5.3% representative sample of the Scottish population linking together census records, vital registrations and patient records. We followed young people who were aged 16-19 in 1991 for 19 years up to 2010. We used descriptive and modelling approaches in our analysis. We focus on three health outcomes: limiting long term illness, hospitalisation, depression and anxiety, which are separately derived from the census, Scottish Morbidity Records, and prescribing information system. In the study we control for a number of individual and household variables from the 1991 and 2001 censuses. This research contributes to the literature on effects of lifecourse events on later health outcomes and has considerable policy implications.