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Living Healthier and Longer: A Life Course Perspective on Education and Health

  • Monica Kirkpatrick Johnson
  • Jeremy Staff
  • John E. Schulenberg
  • Megan E. Patrick
Part of the Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research book series (HSSR)

Abstract

Decades of research documents a strong and enduring relationship between educational attainment and health and longevity. Our chapter begins by briefly reviewing the theoretical explanations for this important social fact and highlighting key ways in which the life course perspective has fundamentally shaped the research questions and debates in the area. From there we outline three directions in which we argue further application of the life course perspective would benefit our understanding: (1) merging selection and causal effect processes into a long-term, multigenerational view; (2) linking health across the years in which people largely achieve their educations, and the short-term processes involved, with longer-term processes and mid- to late-life health outcomes; and (3) assessing historical trends in the mediating mechanisms and their implications for health disparities.

Keywords

Health Longevity Mortality Education College Cohort Life-long development 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Monica Kirkpatrick Johnson
    • 1
  • Jeremy Staff
    • 2
  • John E. Schulenberg
    • 3
  • Megan E. Patrick
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of SociologyWashington State UniversityPullmanUSA
  2. 2.The Pennsylvania State UniversityState CollegeUSA
  3. 3.University of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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