First Advisor

Matthew Carlson

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Sociology






Inequality, Racial disparity, Mortality, Health and race -- United States -- Cross-cultural studies, Education -- Social aspects -- United States, Blacks -- Medical care -- United States, Racism -- Health aspects -- United States, Human Life cycle -- Social aspects



Physical Description

1 online resource (v, 62 p.) : ill.


In the United States there exists a clear and disconcerting racial disparity in the distribution of good health, which can be seen in differential levels of morbidity and mortality affecting blacks and whites. Previous research has examined the role of SES in shaping racial health disparities and recent studies have looked specifically at the effect of education on health to explain the racial disparity in health. Higher levels of education are robustly associated with good overall health for both blacks and whites and this association has been examined over the life-course. This research explores racial differences in the effect of education on health in general as well as over the life-course. Specifically, this paper examines race differences in the effects of education on health over the life-course. Pooled data from the National Health Interview Survey were analyzed using multivariate logistic regression to estimate the effects of race, education and age on health. The results of these analyses indicate that blacks receive lower education returns on their health than whites. The effect of education on health was shown to grow in the beginning of the life-course and diminish at the end of the life course in accordance with the mortality-as-leveler hypothesis. The black white health disparity was shown to grow over the life-course among the highly educated, whereas the disparity was consistent over the life-course for the poorly educated.


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Portland State University. Dept. of Sociology

Persistent Identifier