Mental health effects of education

Mental health effects of education
Father embracing son from behind while helping him with homework

We look into how education affects the mental health of a person. To do this, we use the number of years that treated cohorts went to school as a proxy for when they were introduced to an educational reform. After more than 20 years, greater levels of education have been linked to better mental health. With each year of learning, the number of people who had depressive (11.3%) and anxious (9.8%) symptoms went down.

Both depression (at 6.9%) and anxiety (at 5.8%) were less severe in people with more schooling. Most of these beneficial effects are more likely to help women and people who live in rural areas. We find that education has a good effect on mental health, and that these benefits may be mediated by changes in physical health, health-related attitudes and behaviors, and the social status of women.

Mental health effects of education

Better mental health has been linked to having more schooling. When trying to figure out a cause-and-effect link, there are usually more than one thing at play. But studies show that education is a good way to predict future jobs, income, and social status. So, this factor is a good predictor of better health and happiness.

Studies have found a link between not doing well in school and being from a lower social class. But improving a country’s wealth and well-being can’t be done with just one plan. In the past, measures that made kids stay in school longer were linked to bad things happening to their mental health.

Educational attainment and mental health

Mental health effects of education

Better mental health has been linked to having more schooling. One of the most important reasons is that people with more choices are safer because they have more education. Over the course of their lives, people with more education make more money.

On the other hand, it has been found that educated people are shockingly unhappy with their jobs. Expectations that are too high may be to blame for this difference. People in this social group may also be less happy with their lives.

Studies have shown that people with less schooling are less independent and resilient. The less schooling someone has, the less money they make. Higher levels of daily stressor exposure are linked to lower levels of education, which is linked to “a lack of psychosocial resources” (Neimeyer, H. et al., 2020), such as a feeling of control, resilience, the ability to delay gratification, and access to cultural activities. There is a strong link between these bad events and the start of depression.

Studies that have been done just on sadness have come up with different results. But the causal explanation is getting more and more backing. The WHO suggested that scholars find a balance by studying positive mental health (PMH), which includes psychological, emotional, and social well-being. Neither the social selection nor the cause-and-effect models have been looked into enough in the field of PMH study.

Mental health effects of education

Now that we know these things, the question is whether more schooling always leads to better mental health. Studies have shown that this isn’t true, so it’s not safe to think it’s true. People’s mental health gets worse if they keep going to school. When it was suggested in the early 1970s that the minimum age for leaving school in the UK be raised from 15 to 16, researchers started looking into the problem.

In 1972, a “white paper” called “Education: A Framework for Expansion” was given to government. Even though the change made people more motivated and inspired, it had no effect on moving up in society. On the other hand, it was found that the forced changes raised the chance of depression and other mental health issues later in life.

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