Stay-at-home mothers or fathers are more likely to suffer from mental health problems, a study by the International Longevity Centre has found.

Both men and women who said they were "homemakers" at 55 were more likely to have suffered from psychological problems in both childhood and adulthood than other groups, researchers discovered.

The data, published in two studies, shows that having a mental health problem in childhood was associated with a 2.8 times greater likelihood of being a homemaker at age 55.



The researchers said that while much research had previously been done into the link between having a mental health problem and being long-term unemployed or sick, it had not previously showed a direct link between staying at home to care for a home or family and suffering from psychological problems.



The authors said the findings suggested that the group needed more mental health support than was previously thought.

"The research helps identify that homemakers, with more 'limited connections' to the labour market, could benefit from the provision and promotion of mental health services, due to the association between psychological distress earlier in the life course and being a homemaker in later life," the study said.

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