Educational attainment and adult health

Jennifer Karas Montez, Jennifer D. Brooks

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemChapter

5 Scopus citations


Socioeconomic resources such as educational attainment, income, and occupation are strong predictors of adult health. Focusing on education, this chapter provides an overview of its association with health among midlife and older adults. It provides empirical examples of how the health of midlife and older adults with lower levels of education differs from their peers with higher levels of education. Much of the chapter examines the dynamic nature of the association between education and adult health across age, time, and place. The importance of education for adult health has changed over time and differs across geographic regions and population subgroups. To help explain the relationship between education and adult health, the chapter reviews multiple conceptual frameworks and integrates key elements of them into a “tale of two tails.” The chapter concludes with a discussion of current debates and dilemmas in the field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Aging and the Social Sciences
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780128159705
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Education
  • Health
  • Inequalities
  • Socioeconomic resources

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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