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The interaction of personal and parental education on health

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  • Ross, Catherine E.
  • Mirowsky, John

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Ross, Catherine E. & Mirowsky, John, 2011. "The interaction of personal and parental education on health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 72(4), pages 591-599, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:72:y:2011:i:4:p:591-599
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mark Hayward & Bridget Gorman, 2004. "The long arm of childhood: The influence of early-life social conditions on men’s mortality," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 41(1), pages 87-107, February.
    2. Seeman, Melvin & Lewis, Susan, 1995. "Powerlessness, health and mortality: A longitudinal study of older men and mature women," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 517-525, August.
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    4. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1996:86:4:480-484_5 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Catherine Ross & John Mirowsky, 1999. "Refining the association between education and health: The effects of quantity, credential, and selectivity," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 36(4), pages 445-460, November.
    6. Scott Lynch, 2003. "Cohort and life-course patterns in the relationship between education and health: A hierarchical approach," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 40(2), pages 309-331, May.
    7. Ross, Catherine E. & Mirowsky, John, 2006. "Sex differences in the effect of education on depression: Resource multiplication or resource substitution?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(5), pages 1400-1413, September.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Lee, Jungeun Olivia & Hill, Karl G. & Hartigan, Lacey A. & Boden, Joseph M. & Guttmannova, Katarina & Kosterman, Rick & Bailey, Jennifer A. & Catalano, Richard F., 2015. "Unemployment and substance use problems among young adults: Does childhood low socioeconomic status exacerbate the effect?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 143(C), pages 36-44.
    2. 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.
    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. Runu Bhakta, 2015. "Educational attainment of young adults in India: Measures, trends and determinants," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2015-034, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Delaruelle, Katrijn & Buffel, Veerle & Bracke, Piet, 2015. "Educational expansion and the education gradient in health: A hierarchical age-period-cohort analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 79-88.
    8. Jennifer Karas Montez & Kaitlyn Barnes, 2016. "The Benefits of Educational Attainment for U.S. Adult Mortality: Are they Contingent on the Broader Environment?," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 35(1), pages 73-100, February.
    9. Anning Hu, 2014. "The Health Benefits of College Education in Urban China: Selection Bias and Heterogeneity," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 115(3), pages 1101-1121, February.
    10. Catherine Ross & Ryan Masters & Robert Hummer, 2012. "Education and the Gender Gaps in Health and Mortality," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 49(4), pages 1157-1183, November.

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