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The interaction of personal and parental education on health

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  • Ross, Catherine E.
  • Mirowsky, John
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    Abstract

    The association between education and good health is well established, but whether the strength of the association depends on other social statuses is not. We test a theory of resource substitution which predicts a larger correlation between education and health (measured for physical impairment) for people who grew up in families with poorly-educated parents than for those whose parents were well educated. This is supported in the Aging, Status, and Sense of control (ASOC) survey, a representative national U.S. sample with data collected in 1995, 1998, and 2001. The reason that parental education matters more to people who are poorly educated themselves is due to an unhealthy lifestyle, specifically to smoking and being overweight. Finally, as the poorly educated age, the negative health effects of their parents' low educational attainment get worse.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 72 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 4 (February)
    Pages: 591-599

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:72:y:2011:i:4:p:591-599

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    Keywords: Education Parental education Health Physical impairment;

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    Cited by:
    1. von Hippel, Paul T. & Lynch, Jamie L., 2014. "Why are educated adults slim—Causation or selection?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 131-139.
    2. Catherine Ross & Ryan Masters & Robert Hummer, 2012. "Education and the Gender Gaps in Health and Mortality," Demography, Springer, vol. 49(4), pages 1157-1183, November.
    3. Schaan, Barbara, 2014. "The interaction of family background and personal education on depressive symptoms in later life," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 94-102.
    4. Shaw, Benjamin A. & McGeever, Kelly & Vasquez, Elizabeth & Agahi, Neda & Fors, Stefan, 2014. "Socioeconomic inequalities in health after age 50: Are health risk behaviors to blame?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 52-60.
    5. Anning Hu, 2014. "The Health Benefits of College Education in Urban China: Selection Bias and Heterogeneity," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 115(3), pages 1101-1121, February.
    6. Bauldry, Shawn, 2014. "Conditional health-related benefits of higher education: An assessment of compensatory versus accumulative mechanisms," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 94-100.

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