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Psychological Human Capital and Health across the Life Course: Evidence from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics

a PSC Small Fund Research Project

Investigators:   Amelia Karraker, Robert F. Schoeni

There is mounting evidence of a relationship between psychological human capital and health, but less research has examined how this relationship varies across the life course, and by what means psychological human capital impacts health. Using almost 40 years of data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), we examine the relationship between psychological skills and traits (conscientiousness, personal efficacy, hostility) measured in 1972 and subsequent mortality and physical health status. In addition, we assess the role of health behaviors (smoking, body weight, exercise, alcohol use), socioeconomic status (education, income, employment status), and marital status (divorce) as mechanisms in the psychological human capital-health relationship.

Funding Period: 03/01/2013 to 06/30/2014

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