A study from Indiana University has found that people with educated spouses are more likely to be healthy. While many other studies have shown a positive link between more formal education and health, this study is the only one to look into how education could affect a spouse.
The researchers also found that the effect of spousal education on one partner’s health was just as high as its effect on the actual individual’s health.
According to a study author and associate professor at Indiana University’s Department of Sociology, Andrew Halpern-Manners, the team found that the amount of education your spouse has could directly impact your health. From this, the team concluded that education was a shared resource that benefitted the individual and those around them.
How researchers conducted the study
The researchers concluded this from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study. This study is a long-term study that started in 1957. It focussed on different aspects such as an individual, their house, their siblings, and the siblings of their spouses. Moreover, it gathered data on education, marriage, and health. Notably, the study only includes heterosexual couples.
Elaine Hernandez, another study author and assistant professor at Indiana University’s Department of Sociology, adds this while many experts in the past have believed that people benefit from a more educated spouse, researchers have been unable to demonstrate this in studies until now.
From their data, researchers compared the health of individuals and their spouses to those of their siblings and their spouses. This move would help them single out health differences in relation to education from people who had grown up in similar backgrounds.
Researchers found that the health improvement was significant for people with a highly educated suppose. Furthermore, the benefit was similar to those who had gotten more education.
Women benefitted more from an educated spouse
The team also found that the trend was more observable among women. However, they explained that this could be due to social standards for women in the 60s and 70s. As a result, findings might be just as significant, if not nearly as much in men, if researchers carried out the test today.
This research shows that education has benefits for public health and thus should be pursued.