CitationWalsemann, Katrina M.; Bell, Bethany A.; & Hummer, Robert A. (2012). Effects of Timing and Level of Degree Attained on Depressive Symptoms and Self-Rated Health at Midlife. American Journal of Public Health, 102(3), 557-563. PMCID: PMC3487654
AbstractObjectives: We examined whether attaining a higher educational degree after 25 years of age was associated with fewer depressive symptoms and better self-rated health at midlife than was not attaining a higher educational degree.
Methods: We analyzed data from National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, restricting our sample to respondents who had not attained a bachelor's degree by 25 years of age (n=7179). We stratified all regression models by highest degree attained by 25 years of age.
Results: Among respondents with no degree, a high school diploma, or a post-high school certificate at 25 years of age, attaining at least a bachelor's degree by midlife was associated with fewer depressive symptoms and better self-rated health at midlife compared with respondents who did not attain a higher degree by midlife. Those with an associate's degree at 25 years of age who later attained a bachelor's degree or higher reported better health at midlife.
Conclusions: Attaining at least a bachelor's degree after 25 years of age is associated with better midlife health. Other specifications of educational timing and its health effects across the life course should be studied.
Reference TypeJournal Article
Journal TitleAmerican Journal of Public Health
Author(s)Walsemann, Katrina M.
Bell, Bethany A.
Hummer, Robert A.