Adult Children's Education and Parental Health in the PSID

Patrick Coate, University of Michigan
Dustin C. Brown, University of Michigan

A growing literature shows that even in the presence of other controls, individual health and mortality outcomes are associated with education levels of family members. In this paper, we use PSID data to show a strong correlation between educational achievement of adult children and health status of parents over the time period 1999-2011, especially when the adult children are college graduates, even after accounting for the education of the parent (and parent's spouse). In preliminary analyses, we find that parents whose children are highly educated tend to report better self-rated health. They are also less likely to be diagnosed with serious health conditions, and those conditions that are reported tend to be slower to increase in severity. Ongoing work attempts to test possible mechanisms for these relationships between children's education and health.

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Presented in Poster Session 4: Children and Youth/Population and Aging