Explaining the Effect of Education on Health: A Field Study in Ghana.

06:00 EDT 27th August 2010 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Explaining the Effect of Education on Health: A Field Study in Ghana."

Higher education (or more years of formal schooling) is widely associated with better health, but the underlying causes of this association are unclear. In this study, we tested our schooling-decision-making model, which posits that formal education fosters intellectual ability, which in turn provides individuals with enduring competencies to support better health-related behaviors. Using data from a field study on formal education in 181 adults in rural Ghana, we examined health-protective behaviors related to HIV/AIDS infection, a critical health issue in Ghana. As expected, individuals with more education practiced more protective health behaviors. Our structural equation modeling analysis showed that cognitive abilities, numeracy, and decision-making abilities increased with exposure to schooling, and that these enhanced abilities (and not HIV/AIDS knowledge) mediated the effects of education on health-protective behavior. Research and policy implications for HIV prevention efforts in sub-Saharan Africa are discussed.


1The Ohio State University.

Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Psychological science : a journal of the American Psychological Society / APS
ISSN: 1467-9280


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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Education centers authorized by the Comprehensive Health Manpower Training Act, 1971, for the training of health personnel in areas where health needs are the greatest. May be used for centers other than those established by the United States act.

Identifies, for study and analysis, important issues and problems that relate to health and medicine. The Institute initiates and conducts studies of national policy and planning for health care and health-related education and research; it also responds to requests from the federal government and other agencies for studies and advice.

Education that increases the awareness and favorably influences the attitudes and knowledge relating to the improvement of health on a personal or community basis.

Education which increases the awareness and favorably influences the attitudes and knowledge relating to the improvement of dental health on a personal or community basis.

Education and training in PUBLIC HEALTH for the practice of the profession.


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