Gender, income and mental health: The Turkish case

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Gender gaps in health outcomes are frequently observed. Mental health disorders also display gender differences in various countries. This paper explores gender differences in mental health outcomes of individuals in Turkey. It aims to deliver additional evidence on associations between gender, income and mental health status by providing an empirical analysis from a developing country, Turkey. This study employs a nationally representative data set from Turkish Health Survey of 2016. It constructs an index for mental health at individual level by using polychoric principal component analysis. Conditional mixed process models are estimated for quantification of associations between gender, income and mental health measures. Empirical findings indicate that there is endogenous and positive relationship between household income level and mental health status of individuals in Turkey. Turkish females report lower mental health statuses than Turkish males. Furthermore, females are more likely to use mental health services in Turkey. Gender gaps in both mental health status and mental health service use are present in the Turkish case. Results of this study imply that mental health policies should avoid applying one-fit-all approaches.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0232344
Number of pages17
JournalPloS ONE
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding: The author(s) received no specific funding for this work.

Data Availability Statement

The data cannot be shared publicly due to regulations of Turkish Statistical Institute. The author does not have permission to share the data. The data set for this study is Turkey Health Survey (THS) for 2016. The data is collected by Turkish Statistical Institute (TSI). Turkey Health Survey (THS) for 2016 is described by the following web site: The data underlying the results presented in the study are available from Turkish Statistical Institute at: Although the data is not publicly available, TSI provides access to data via application processes for researchers. The instructions for access and use of micro data of Turkish Statistical Institute may be obtained via the following web link: In order to apply for access to micro data of TSI, researchers are asked to fill out the application form given by the following web link:


Dive into the research topics of 'Gender, income and mental health: The Turkish case'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this