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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. ISSN 2640-2068 (In Press)

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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 1-3 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: I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I3 - Welfare and Poverty > I31 - General Welfare; Basic Needs; Living Standards; Quality of Life; Happiness
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O12 - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2022 10:21
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2022 11:00
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/114397

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