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Copyright notice See other articles in PMC that cite the published article. Within the demographic literature are numerous reports of consistent and significant associations between formal educational attainment and individual health outcomes and risks such as mortality, smoking, drug abuse, and accidents, as well as the contraction of many diseases.
The vast majority of these reports conclude that more highly educated individuals are healthier and live longer. As a consequence, it is frequently suggested that the association between expanding education and population health is spurious because of the impact of general social development e.
Thus, related factors of modernity are often assumed to pave the way for both mass education and healthier populations e. Social epidemiological research also reports extensive negative associations between education and disease, often after statistically controlling for indicators of socioeconomic status e.
For example, demographic studies of health either conflate education with socioeconomic status in interpreting findings, or assume that education is only a proxy measure for socioeconomic status.
Although educational attainment is associated with adult socioeconomic status, many studies, including those assessed below, suggest that schooling has a substantial effect on health independent of status attainment Feinstein et al.
The confusion over the causal role of education is likely due to three reasons. First, the educational revolution of the past years was originally interpreted as an outcome, not a cause, of modernization.
Second, there has yet to be a systematic assessment of the education effect on health across a full set of methodologically sophisticated studies, with controls for wealth and other dimensions of socioeconomic status.
Third, hypotheses about the education effect on health have not considered the central schooling activity of cognitive development. In addressing these shortcomings, we offer three contributions to illuminate the education effect on health. First, we summarize the dimensions of the worldwide educational revolution and reassess its potential influence on modernity and macro-demographic transitions in developed and developing countries.
Second, to establish the independence and robustness of the education effect on individual health, we conduct a meta-analysis of peer-reviewed micro-level studies of the relationship between educational attainment and mortality. Lastly, in light of new multidisciplinary research on the cognitive impact of schooling, we propose a hypothesis about how education may be a powerful determinant of health and longevity.
Reassessing the mass education effect on population health A large set of multidisciplinary studies from sociological, historical, and economic research examining educational development over the past years yields three central findings about the expansion of formal education and its effect on modern society Meyer First, it is likely that the unique event of widening access to primary and secondary education was one cause of modernity; second, the effects of schooling can be substantial, yet are underestimated in studies of highly educated societies; third, the timing and influence of the spread of education suggest it was an important cause of the demographic transition.
The educational revolution as a cause of modernity The so-called educational revolution is marked by persistent worldwide growth in formal schooling both in terms of increasing school enrollment rates and in terms of upward expansion of formal educational attainment.
Yet, when scholars identify the social forces responsible for the development of modern society, they rarely include the remarkable collective activity of schooling large proportions of children for long periods of time. Other transforming forces—industrial production, technology, science and medicine, improved nutrition, capitalism, the rise of the nation-state and democratic politics, large-scale warfare, decline of religion, and rise of rationalized bureaucracies— receive most of the credit.
There is, however, growing evidence that the educational revolution played, and continues to play, a key role in the development of many features of modern societies. The evidence centers around 1 the demographic size and temporal dynamics of the educational revolution; 2 evidence on what did, and did not, initiate mass education; 3 results from econometric modeling of the causal impact of educational expansion on national economic development across the twentieth century; and 4 the intensive adoption of a common model of formal education capable of a uniform impact worldwide.
We examine each of these in turn. Size and speed of the educational revolution Because the historical spread of formal education was so extensive and arose temporally with economic development and growing social complexity, it is unlikely to have been a result of these factors.
What is demographically salient about the educational revolution has been both its relative newness to human society and its speed of growth. The enrollment of children and youth into primary, secondary, and post-secondary education over the past years worldwide is, in historical terms, a recent social phenomenon.
Once started, the rate of growth for each level of schooling rapidly becomes significant and sustained. The increasingly common practice of going to school and attending for a considerable number of years represents a new and massive change in human behavior.
During the last 60 years, populations in low-income countries underwent a transition from virtually no access to schooling to wide access to primary and even secondary education, so that now an estimated 80 percent of all humans aged 15 or older have been schooled enough to both read and write a short statement about their lives, a population characteristic that would have been unthinkable just 50 years ago UNESCO The steady growth in primary school enrollment throughout the second half of the nineteenth century and into the first few decades of the twentieth century led to an exponential climb worldwide from the s on.
And then in the early s enrollment in higher education began to grow.Education impacts on health in two ways; firstly through teaching that enables children to learn specifically about health (often known as skills-based health education) and secondly through the educational process as a whole which provides skills such as critical thinking and making choices that enable children to opt for healthy lifestyles.
Education can impact on health in two ways; firstly through Life-Skills Based Education (LSBE) which teaches children to learn about health, and secondly through the educational process as a whole which provides skills such as critical thinking and making choices enabling for options for healthy lifestyles.
Not all of the effects of education on health costs are positive. Education can increase uptake of preventative care which may lead to long-run savings but short-term increases in health care costs.
Those with more education are also more likely to take advantage of health care provision. Following the socioecological framework presented in the introduction, we describe a range of potential downstream impacts of education on health, starting with the ways individuals experience health benefits from education, but then going on to discuss the health-related community (or place-based) characteristics that often surround people .
Impact of Culture on Patient Education: Introduction Culture refers to characteristic patterns of attitudes, values, beliefs, and behaviors shared by members of a society or population.
Members of a cultural group share characteristics that distinguish them from other groups. In their paper, "Education and Health: Evaluating Theories and Evidence," presented at the National Poverty Center conference "The Health Effects of Non-Health Policy," David M.
Cutler and Adriana Lleras-Muney review literature and conduct statistical analyses on .