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Education, Social Status, and Health
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In examining why it is that people with higher socio-economic status have better health than lower-status individuals, Mirowsky and Ross draw on findings and ideas from many sciences, including demography, economics, social psychology and the health sciences.
But research on chronic diseases over the last half of the twentieth century forced science to think differently about the causes of disease. Despite the institutional and cultural forces focusing medical research on distinctive proximate causes of specific diseases, researchers were forced to look over their shoulders, back toward more distant causes of many diseases. Some fully turned their orientation toward the social status of health, looking for the origins of that cascade of disease and disability flowing daily through clinics. Why is it that people with higher socioeconomic status have better health than lower status individuals? The authors, who are well recognized for their strength in survey research on a broad national scale, draw on findings and ideas from many sciences, including demography, economics, social psychology, and the health sciences. People who are well educated feel in control of their lives, which encourages and enables a healthy lifestyle. In addition, learned effectiveness, a practical end of that education, enables them to find work that is autonomous and creative, thereby promoting good health.
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Education as learned effectiveness
the association between education and health
education, personal control, lifestyle and health
education, socioeconomic status and health
education, interpersonal relationships and health
age and cumulative advantage
specious views of education
conclusion - self-direction toward health. Appendix: data and measures.