Gender-specific trends in educational attainment and self-rated health, 1972-2002

Terrence D. Hill, Belinda L. Needham

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Objectives. We tested whether self-rated health has improved over time (1972-2002) for women and men. We also considered the degree to which historical gains in educational attainment help to explain any observed trends. Methods. Using 21 years of repeated cross-sectional data from the General Social Survey, we estimated a series of ordered logistic regression models predicting self-rated health. Results. Our results show that women's health status has steadily improved over the 30-year period under study, and these improvements are largely explained by gains in educational attainment. We also found that the health trend for men is nonlinear, suggesting significant fluctuations in health status over time. Conclusions. Based on the linear health status trend and strong mediation pattern for women, and the nonlinear health status trend for men, women have benefited more than men, in terms of self-rated health, from increased educational attainment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1288-1292
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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