Date of Award

Fall 2019

Document Type


First Advisor

Amon Emeka

Second Advisor

Aaron Ray


It is no secret that battling a chronic illness can impact an individual’s mental health, all while simultaneously harming their physical health. Although many say that this connection between chronic illness and mental health is obvious, we may still wonder whether chronically ill young adults have a harder time coping with chronic illness and mental health. Does the age of the chronically ill patient matter? Are chronically ill young adults more likely to suffer from poor mental health than older chronically ill individuals? I hypothesize that the older the chronically ill patient, the better their reported mental health will be. To test this assumption, this study analyzes data from the 2010 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) using a subset of 4,257 chronically ill individuals aged 18 through 85. I Control for race, labor force status, and sex, the results from the analyses align with findings from previous literature (Fässberg et al. 2016; Gallant, Spitze and Grove 2010). The findings support my age hypothesis as well as also provide insight on how not being in the labor force also affects chronically ill patient’s mental health.