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Adolescent Cognitive and Non-cognitive Correlates of Adult Health

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  • Robert Kaestner

Abstract

While it is widely acknowledged that the family and childhood environments affect adult well being, why they matter is still an area of significant debate. Previous research concerned with this issue has focused on the influence of family income, family structure, and cognitive ability. Much of this research has focused on economic and social outcomes. Notably, the influence of childhood environments on adult health has not received as much attention as other outcomes, and when health has been the focus, interest has been mainly on childhood health. Here, I present a descriptive analysis of the associations between cognitive and non-cognitive traits measured at the end of childhood (age 14) and mental and physical health at age 41. Results suggest that, on average, adolescent cognitive ability and self esteem have a significant association with health at age 41. Other non-cognitive factors such as locus of control and adolescent substance use do not have significant associations with adult health. Net of adolescent influences, completed education has a significant association with adult health.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14924.

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Date of creation: Apr 2009
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Publication status: published as Robert Kaestner & Kevin Callison, 2011. "Adolescent Cognitive and Noncognitive Correlates of Adult Health," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(1), pages 29 - 69.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14924

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Cited by:
  1. Conti, Gabriella & Heckman, James J., 2012. "The Economics of Child Well-Being," IZA Discussion Papers 6930, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Govert Bijwaard & Hans van Kippersluis & Justus Veenman, 2013. "Education and Health: The Role of Cognitive Ability," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-044/V, Tinbergen Institute.
  3. James J. Heckman & John Eric Humphries & Sergio Urzua & Gregory Veramendi, 2010. "The effects of educational choices on labor market, health, and social outcomes," Working Papers, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group 2011-002, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
  4. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman, 2009. "The Economics and Psychology of Inequality and Human Development," NBER Working Papers 14695, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Strulik, Holger, 2013. "Health and education: Understanding the gradient," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 172, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
  6. Conti, Gabriella & Hansman, Christopher, 2013. "Personality and the education–health gradient: A note on “Understanding differences in health behaviors by education”," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 480-485.
  7. Gabriella Conti & James J. Heckman & Sergio Urzua, 2010. "Early endowments, education, and health," Working Papers, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group 2011-001, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
  8. Naci Mocan & Duha Altindag, 2014. "Education, cognition, health knowledge, and health behavior," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 265-279, April.
  9. Gabriella Conti & Sylvia Fruehwirth-Schnatter & James J. Heckman & Remi Piatek, 2014. "Bayesian Exploratory Factor Analysis," Working Papers, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group 2014-014, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
  10. Gabriella Conti & Sylvia Fruehwirth-Schnatter & James J. Heckman & Remi Piatek, 2014. "Bayesian Exploratory Factor Analysis," Working Papers, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics 2014-014, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
  11. Ampaabeng, Samuel K. & Tan, Chih Ming, 2013. "The long-term cognitive consequences of early childhood malnutrition: The case of famine in Ghana," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1013-1027.
  12. Will Dobbie & Roland G. Fryer, 2011. "Are High-Quality Schools Enough to Increase Achievement among the Poor? Evidence from the Harlem Children's Zone," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 158-87, July.

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