Getting children out of poverty can improve their mental health, but it doesn't fix everything. Behavioral problems—such as conduct disorder—seem to decline with increased income, yet moving above the poverty line did not help children with disorders like anxiety and depression.
Jane Costello, a professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at Duke University, examined the mental health of 1,420 children selected from rural areas of western North Carolina over an eight-year period.
Four years into the study, a casino built by Cherokee Indians led many tribal families in the area out of poverty. Tribal members were more likely than others in the area to be impoverished. The tribal government distributed profits to every Cherokee over 18—around $6,000 per person by the end of the study.