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Effects of Timing and Level of Degree Attained on Depressive Symptoms and Self-Rated Health at Midlife

Citation

Walsemann, 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

Abstract

Objectives: 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.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2011.300216

Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published

2012

Journal Title

American Journal of Public Health

Author(s)

Walsemann, Katrina M.
Bell, Bethany A.
Hummer, Robert A.

PMCID

PMC3487654