Berlin - A higher level of education for mothers gives their children longer life. This is the result of study by the German Institute for Economic Research () in Berlin. In second study, however, researchers have not yet been able to prove positive influence on mental health.
It is assumed that the health of adults is not only related to the budget, but also to the level of education of their parents it has been for long time. In new study with data from around 6,000 people from the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), the DIW scientists have now confirmed this connection again.
If mother had at least secondary school diploma from the 1940s, her adult children aged 65 and over have an average life expectancy of two years longer than children whose mothers at that time had at most primary school diploma. This result persists even if the researchers took into account the children's own education and income.
The researchers see main reason for the connection in the fact that better educated mothers pay attention to healthier lifestyle for their children, for example with view to balanced diet, smoking behavior, alcohol consumption and exercise.
The result of their study was rather surprising for second research team: According to this, the education of mothers has so far had no measurable influence on the mental health of their now adult children . Specifically, the researchers looked at the effects of extending schooling in West Germany between the 1940s and 1960s. During this time, the school time increased from eight to nine years.
For this study, data from around 3,300 maternal Child couples from the 1950s in West Germany. The children were on average 30 years old when their mental health was assessed. To the astonishment of the scientists, there was no correlation in the data between the mental health and life satisfaction of the children and the level of education of the mother.
Mothers with higher education usually take better paid jobs and often lead more satisfied jobs simply through more financial independence Partnerships. This should actually have positive effect on the psyche of the children.
The scientists are now wondering whether the unexpected result might have something to do with the design of their study. According to the study, only secondary schools and elementary schools were affected by the reform at that time. It is possible, however, that only going to school beyond the ninth grade promoted competencies to pay more attention to health aspects later on when raising children - including psychological needs.