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Cognitive behavioral therapy among Ghana’s rural poor is effective regardless of baseline mental distress

Barker, Nathan, Bryan, Gharad, Karlan, Dean, Ofori-Atta, Angela L. and Udry, Christopher (2022) Cognitive behavioral therapy among Ghana’s rural poor is effective regardless of baseline mental distress. American Economic Review: Insights, 4 (4). 527 - 545. ISSN 2640-2068

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Identification Number: 10.1257/aeri.20210612

Abstract

We study the impact of group-based cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for individuals selected from the general population of poor households in rural Ghana (N = 7,227). Results from one to three months after the program show strong impacts on mental and perceived physical health, cognitive and socioemotional skills, and economic self-perceptions. These effects hold regardless of baseline mental distress. We argue that this is because CBT can improve well-being for a general population of poor individuals through two pathways: reducing vulnerability to deteriorating mental health and directly increasing cognitive capacity and socioemotional skills.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.aeaweb.org/journals/aeri
Additional Information: © 2022 American Economic Association
Divisions: Economics
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
JEL classification: D - Microeconomics > D1 - Household Behavior and Family Economics > D12 - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I1 - Health > I12 - Health Production: Nutrition, Mortality, Morbidity, Suicide, Substance Abuse and Addiction, Disability, and Economic Behavior
I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I3 - Welfare and Poverty > I31 - General Welfare; Basic Needs; Living Standards; Quality of Life; Happiness
I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I3 - Welfare and Poverty > I32 - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O12 - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O18 - Regional, Urban, and Rural Analyses
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2022 10:21
Last Modified: 13 Dec 2022 11:33
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/114397

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