Parents’ education, not income, linked to kids’ health — report
More money doesn't necessarily equate to a healthier life.
Research out of Rutgers finds the health outcomes of families are linked heavily to parents' education level, and not how much money they're bringing in.
The study, recently published in the Southern Economic Journal, concluded that parents educated beyond high school tend to invest more in family health care, reducing the likelihood of household members developing adverse medical conditions such as hypertension, diabetes and asthma.
Alan Monheit and Irina Grafova, at Rutgers School of Public Health, used nationwide data from the 2004 to 2012 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey.
Compared to single-mother families in which the mother lacks a high school diploma, for example, single-mother families in which the mother is college educated spend an additional $1,000 annually on outpatient care, the study shows.
Two-parent families with more education spend a greater amount for dental care and mental health services, the research finds.
"We find less of an effect of income on such spending by the family — that education seems to dominate," Monheit told New Jersey 101.5.
Monheit said their research looked at families' out-of-pocket health care costs and spending by insurance companies on behalf of those families.