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Keywords:

  • Malaise Inventory;
  • risk of depression;
  • children in public care;
  • social disadvantage;
  • National Child Development Study

Data from the National Child Development Study are used to assess the risk of high Malaise scores (indicating a tendency towards depression) amongst young adults at age 23 and 33. Results indicate that adults who have been in care are more likely to have high Malaise scores than are those who have not been in care. For men this risk increases as they grow older. Those with an early experience of social disadvantage are also more vulnerable to a high Malaise score than those not so disadvantaged. Overall, when other factors are controlled, the risk of a high Malaise score in adulthood is significantly greater for young adults who have been in care than those who have experienced severe social disadvantage in their childhood, except for women at age 33, where an early experience of social disadvantage carries a greater risk than the care experience.