Postsecondary Academic Experiences in the Link between Education and Health

Melissa H. Humphries, University of Texas at Austin

The positive association between education and health is enduring and well-documented. However, many datasets only collect information on education using years of education completed or highest degree earned, which makes identifying the specific connections between educational experience and health outcomes difficult. This project employs data from the postsecondary transcript study from a longitudinal dataset of young adults (NLSY97) to begin to piece apart what aspects of postsecondary schooling are actually associated with later health outcomes. I use data on the number of postsecondary courses completed, types of courses taken (remedial or academic) and grades earned to analyze how quantity and quality of the postsecondary course-taking experience may predict health outcomes. Preliminary results show that the number of course credits earned in 4-year schools, but not 2-year schools, is positively related to early adult health, controlling on degree earned and a host of prior family, education and health controls.

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Presented in Poster Session 8: Adult Health and Mortality