School Quality Trajectories and Later-Life Physical and Mental Health

Sze Liu, Harvard School of Public Health
Andrew Halpern-Manners, University of Minnesota

Although the link between education and health is well-established, previous research has largely concentrated on the health effects of school quantity, e.g., years completed or degrees attained. A small body of research suggests school quality may be independently associated with better health, but this work has typically used cross-sectional measures to characterize multi-year school exposures. This study quantifies the associations of school quality with depressive symptoms and body mass index (BMI) in later life using a trajectory-based measure that reflects quality throughout the primary and secondary school years. In addition, we explore whether such effects differ by gender and whether there are larger effects at higher quantiles of depressive symptoms and BMI.

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Presented in Poster Session 7