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Adolescent Cognitive and Noncognitive Correlates of Adult Health

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  • Robert Kaestner
  • Kevin Callison

Abstract

We present an analysis of the associations between cognitive and noncognitive traits measured at the end of childhood and mental and physical health at age 41. Results suggest that adolescent cognitive ability and self-esteem have a significant association with health at age 41. Most noncognitive factors do not have significant associations with adult health, although in some analyses an internal locus of control was associated with better adult health. Net of adolescent influences, completed education has a significant association with adult health. Finally, differences in cognitive and noncognitive factors are not important explanations of gender or racial differences in health.

Suggested Citation

  • 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:ucp:jhucap:doi:10.1086/660082
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    Cited by:

    1. Humphries, John Eric & Kosse, Fabian, 2017. "On the interpretation of non-cognitive skills – What is being measured and why it matters," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 174-185.
    2. Gabriella Conti & James J. Heckman & Sergio Urzua, 2010. "Early endowments, education, and health," Working Papers 2011-001, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    3. Michael Grossman, 2015. "The Relationship between Health and Schooling: What's New?," Working Papers 8, City University of New York Graduate Center, Ph.D. Program in Economics.
    4. Trivitt, Julie & Cheng, Albert, 2016. "When you say nothing at all: The predictive power of student effort on surveysAuthor-Name: Hitt, Collin," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 105-119.
    5. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman, 2009. "The Economics and Psychology of Inequality and Human DEvelopment," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 320-364, 04-05.
    6. Bijwaard, Govert & Myrskylä, Mikko & Tynelius, Per & Rasmussen, Finn, 2016. "Education, Cognitive Ability and Cause-Specific Mortality: A Structural Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 10137, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Bijwaard, Govert E. & van Kippersluis, Hans & Veenman, Justus, 2015. "Education and health: The role of cognitive ability," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 29-43.
    8. Strulik, Holger, 2016. "The return to education in terms of wealth and health," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 293, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    9. repec:zbw:espost:168322 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Bijwaard, Govert & Jones, Andrew M., 2016. "Cognitive Ability and the Mortality Gradient by Education: Selection or Mediation?," IZA Discussion Papers 9798, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    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, vol. 32(6), pages 1013-1027.
    12. Naci Mocan & Duha Altindag, 2014. "Education, cognition, health knowledge, and health behavior," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 15(3), pages 265-279, April.
    13. Conti, Gabriella & Frühwirth-Schnatter, Sylvia & Heckman, James J. & Piatek, Rémi, 2014. "Bayesian exploratory factor analysis," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 183(1), pages 31-57.
    14. 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, vol. 32(2), pages 480-485.
    15. Peter, Frauke H. & Spieß, C. Katharina, 2016. "Family Instability and Locus of Control in Adolescence," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 1439-1471.
    16. Gabriella Conti & James J. Heckman, 2012. "The Economics of Child Well-Being," NBER Working Papers 18466, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Strulik, Holger, 2011. "Health and Education: Understanding the Gradient," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-487, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    18. Henry Saffer, 2014. "Self-regulation and Health," NBER Working Papers 20483, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. 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 2011-002, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    20. 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, vol. 3(3), pages 158-187, July.
    21. repec:bfi:wpaper:2014-014 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Will Dobbie & Roland G. Fryer, Jr, 2009. "Are High Quality Schools Enough to Close the Achievement Gap? Evidence from a Social Experiment in Harlem," NBER Working Papers 15473, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    23. Kaestner, Robert, 2016. "Do `Skills Beget Skills'? Evidence on the effect of kindergarten entrance age on the evolution of cognitive and non-cognitive skill gaps in childhoodAuthor-Name: Lubotsky, Darren," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 194-206.

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    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior

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