Health Insurance Status and Symptoms of Psychological Distress among Low-income Urban Women

Anna W. Jacobs, Terrence D. Hill, Amy M. Burdette

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Although numerous studies have considered the effects of having health insurance on access to health care, physical health, and mortality risk, the association between insurance coverage and mental health has been surprisingly understudied. Building on previous work, we use data collected from a two-year follow-up of low-income women living in Boston, Chicago, and San Antonio to estimate a series of latent fixed-effects regression models assessing the association between insurance status and symptoms of psychological distress. We find that having any insurance and private insurance is unrelated to depression, anxiety, and somatization. Having public insurance is unrelated to depression and somatization, but there is some evidence that having public insurance is associated with greater anxiety. Although not a direct test of the Affordable Care Act, our results suggest that the expansion of coverage may have a limited impact on symptoms of psychological distress among low-income urban women with children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalSociety and Mental Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2015


  • health insurance
  • low-income
  • mental health
  • psychological distress
  • urban
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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