A Gradient in Education Due to Health? Evidence from the Study of Health Behavior in School-Aged Children

  • Hana Saab Queen's University and Ontario Ministry of Education
  • Don A. Klinger Queen's University
Keywords: Health, achievement, adolescents, gradient, Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) Study

Abstract

Research exploring the relationship between education and health suggests that people with higher levels of schooling report better health. To emphasize health as a determinant of educational achievement, this article establishes a gradient in education by health among Canadian students. Using data from the 2006 Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study, the relationship between self-rated health and achievement is examined for 8,626 students from 131 schools. The variation of the gradient in education by health within and between schools suggests that increases in self-rated health are associated with increased achievement for students. Moreover, the within-school regression accounted for 2.7 % of the variation in achievement due to health, whereas the between-school regression slope accounted for 19.8% of the variation in achievement due to health. Inequalities in achievement associated with health were more pronounced between schools than within schools. Policy implications as they relate to the findings are discussed.

La recherche portant sur le rapport entre l’éducation et la santé donne à penser que les gens les plus instruits se disent en meilleure santé. Afin de mettre en relief la santé comme facteur déterminant dans le niveau d’instruction, cet article développe une échelle liant le niveau de scolarité et la santé chez les élèves canadiens. Puisant dans des données de l’enquête sur les comportements liés à la santé chez les enfants d’âge scolaire (2006), nous examinons le rapport entre la santé et la scolarité telles que décrites par 8 626 élèves provenant de 131 écoles. La variation notée dans le rapport scolarité/santé à l’intérieur des écoles et entre elles donne à penser que plus l’état de santé déclaré est positif, plus le rendement est élevé chez les élèves. De plus, la régression au sein des écoles représente 2,7% de la variation dans le rendement attribuable à la santé, alors que la régression entre les écoles représente 19,8 % de la variation dans le rendement attribuable à la santé. Les inégalités dans le rendement associé à la santé étaient plus prononcées entre les écoles qu’au sein des écoles. Nous discutons des incidences sur la politique qui découlent de ces résultats.

Author Biographies

Hana Saab, Queen's University and Ontario Ministry of Education
Hana Saab is currently a senior statistics/research analyst with the Ontario Ministry of Education. At the time the article was submitted, she was a research associate with the Social Program Evaluation Group at Queen’s University, Faculty of Education.
Don A. Klinger, Queen's University
Don Klinger is an associate professor and member of the Assessment and Evaluation Group in the Faculty of Education at Queen's University. His research explores the use of large-scale assessments and databases to inform educational policy and practice and to identify those factors associated with improved educational outcomes.
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