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Educational Spillovers and Adult Health in the United States

a PSC Small Fund Research Project

Investigator:   Dustin Brown

The positive association between individuals' own education and adult health outcomes is well-established, but whether education has spillover effects on adult health outcomes within social relationships is not. The goal of the proposed project is to examine whether education has spillover effects on adult morbidity and mortality within social relationships. Consistent with this goal, the specific aims of this project are to evaluate (1) whether and how husbands and wives' education combine within marriage to influence various causes of morbidity and adult mortality; (2) whether the influence of a spouse's education on adult morbidity and mortality varies by age, race-ethnicity, and/or gender; (3) the extent to which key social, economic, psychological, and behavioral factors explain the association between a spouse's education and adult mortality risk; (4) whether and how the educational composition of one's broader social network influences their self-rated health and mortality risk. To accomplish these aims, I will analyze nationally representative U.S. data from the National Health Interview Survey, National Health Interview Survey-Linked Mortality File, Health and Retirement Study, and General Social Survey-National Death Index.

Funding Period: 03/01/2014 to 02/28/2015

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