Selective schooling and long-term health

This research explores the link between schooling and long-term health outcomes.

Research focus

Education is associated with better health. However, it is still unclear whether it has a causal impact. Natural experiment studies allow better assessment of causality. This study uses data from a 1950s Aberdeen birth cohort for whom test score, secondary school attended and later life health are available to test the impact of secondary schooling on health.

The project aims to answer the following questions:

  • Is attending selective schools associated with a different risk of poor health in later life compared to attending a non-selective school?
  • Does the association with selective schooling vary by childhood socio-economic background?

Data this research aims to link and analyse

  • Data from age 6-12 – cognitive test scores; verbal and mathematics tests scores; teachers' assessments; family sociodemographic information (collected as part of ACONF study)
  • Data from mid-life – responses to a survey of physical and mental health, education history, and sociodemographic characteristics (collected as part of ACONF study)
  • Health data – number of chronic conditions derived from diagnoses from hospital admission and mental health inpatient databases from Scottish Medical Records derived by ISD: SMR01 and SMR04

Research team

Project lead: Frank Popham

Publications and outputs

When publications or outputs are available, they will be shared here. For more information about this project, please contact us.