The paper addresses the impact of mental health on injuries in children and adolescents. The significance of mental health will be analysed using panel data in order to identify its causal effects on injuries in young people. Data from the German survey ‘Health Behaviour and Injuries in School-Age – A Panel Study 2013–2020’ will be used. The panel survey started in 2014/15 with the age cohort 11 years old. Data from the first four waves will be analysed with n ≈ 10.000 per wave and n ≈ 4.000 over all waves (balanced panel). An index of mental health consisting of a set of indicators will be constructed. To assess their mental health, pupils were asked to report how often during the last week they felt fit and comfortable, they felt full of energy and how often they felt sad and lonely. Moreover, they were asked how often during the last week they had fun with their friends, they were not able to concentrate and how often they felt unhappy or depressed. By using fixed effects models for panel data, it will be analysed if mental health has a causal effect on injuries in young people. Findings show that there is a clear effect of mental health on injuries in childhood and adolescence. Furthermore the panel data show that mental health has a clear causal effect on injuries in young people. The paper concludes, that for injury-prevention in childhood and adolescence it is on foremost importance, to build up and stimulate mental health and well-being rather than focusing solely on physical environmental improvements.
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