A group of researchers at Indiana University explored how a spouse’s education impacts his/her partner’s overall health outcomes in heterosexual couples. The study was published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.
The researchers studied data, dating back to 1957, from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study and self-reported questionnaires. They studied individuals, their siblings, their spouses, and their spouses’ siblings—delving into factors like general health, marriages, personal educational attainment, spousal education, and employment.
The findings revealed that a spouse’s education is linked to positive and larger long-term benefits to people’s overall health. In fact, in highly educated partners, spousal education has an effect on wellness that rivals the impact of a person’s own education.
The researchers also found that this pattern is well-pronounced in women, whose health is more closely tied to their spouse’s education than men’s.
One of the lead researchers, Andrew Halpern-Manners, elaborated, “Education has health-enhancing benefits for the individual [and greater] tangible benefits for those around them, especially intimate ties.”
The Bigger Picture
The researchers are enthusiastic that this research can effectively raise awareness about the public benefits of education and generate greater investment and engagement in the educational field.
To Know More You May Relate To
Halpern-Manners, A., Hernandez, E. M., & Wilbur, T. G. (2022). Crossover Effects of Education on Health within Married Couples. Journal of Health and Social Behavior. https://doi.org/10.1177/00221465211063879