Sex Differences in the Effect of Education on Depression: Resource Multiplication or Resource Substitution?
ABSTRACT Does education improve psychological well-being more for one sex than for the other? Resource substitution theory hypothesizes that education improves well-being more for women, because socioeconomic disadvantage makes them depend more on education to achieve well-being. Resource multiplication implies the opposite, that education improves well-being more for men, because they get bigger labor market payoffs from it such as authority and earnings. Data from a 1995 survey of US adults with follow-ups in 1998 and 2001 support the resource substitution hypothesis. Depression decreases more steeply for women than for men as the level of education increases. The gender gap in depression essentially disappears among persons with a college degree or higher. Two mediating interactions appear to account for the convergence. Education increases work creativity more sharply for women than for men, thereby reducing depression. Education increases the sense of control for both sexes equally, but depression declines more steeply for women as sense of control increases. Growth curve analyses of depression vectors confirm the resource substitution pattern. The adulthood life course pattern of depression levels and changes depends more strongly on education for women than for men.
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- "The theory of resource multiplication on the other hand states that resources reinforce each other’s impact. Consequently, the presence of a certain resource will have a larger impact on people with more alternative resources, and less impact in the absence of alternative resources . Making the link to different forms of capital, the resource multiplication theory would claim that people in an advantaged position on the level of one specific resource (e.g. "
ABSTRACT: Social capital has been related to various aspects of health. While literature suggests that men and women differently access and mobilize social capital, gender has received little attention within social capital research. This study examines whether the association between individual social capital and psychological distress is different for men and women. We made use of data from a representative sample of 1025 adults within 50 neighbourhoods of Ghent (Belgium), collected in the context of the cross-sectional Social capital and Well-being In Neighbourhoods in Ghent (SWING) Survey 2011. Six components of social capital were discerned: generalized trust, social support, social influence, social engagement and attachment, the volume of social capital and the mean occupational prestige in one’s network. Multilevel linear regression models were fitted to explore interactions between gender and these components of social capital. In accordance with previous research, men report lower levels of psychological distress than women (t = 4.40, p < 0.001). Regarding the gender gap in social capital, the findings are mixed. Only for half of the social capital variables (social support, social influence and volume of social capital), a significant gender difference is found, favouring men (t = 4.03, p < 0.001; t = 1.99, p < 0.001 and t = 4.50, p < 0.001 respectively). None of the analysed interaction terms between gender and social capital is significantly related to psychological distress. The analyses indicate that the association between individual social capital and psychological distress is similar for men and women. The relatively low level of gender stratification in Belgium might have influenced this finding. Furthermore, it is possible that social capital is not of greater importance for women in general, but mainly for women who are in an especially vulnerable social situation that deprives their access to alternative resources (e.g. unemployed women, single mothers). Future studies should seek to identify subgroups for whom social capital might be particularly influential, by transcending ‘simple’ dyads such as ‘men versus women’.BMC Public Health 09/2014; 14(1):960. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-14-960 · 2.32 Impact Factor
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- "Our results show how education, a fundamental cause of health and disease, can serve as a valuable resource that offsets even innate biological risk. Education increases an individual's ability to adapt, modify, and use surrounding resources (Becker, 1964; Cutler and Lleras-Muney, 2008; Ross and Mirowsky, 2006). As such, polices that reduce disparities in education may help offset underlying genetic risk. "
ABSTRACT: The prevalence of type 2 diabetes (T2D) and obesity has recently increased dramatically. These common diseases are likely to arise from the interaction of multiple genetic, socio-demographic and environmental risk factors. While previous research has found genetic risk and education to be strong predictors of these diseases, few studies to date have examined their joint effects. This study investigates whether education modifies the association between genetic background and risk for type 2 diabetes (T2D) and obesity. Using data from non-Hispanic Whites in the Health and Retirement Study (HRS, n = 8398), we tested whether education modifies genetic risk for obesity and T2D, offsetting genetic effects; whether this effect is larger for individuals who have high risk for other (unobserved) reasons, i.e., at higher quantiles of HbA1c and BMI; and whether effects differ by gender. We measured T2D risk using Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) level, and obesity risk using body-mass index (BMI). We constructed separate genetic risk scores (GRS) for obesity and diabetes respectively based on the most current available information on the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs) confirmed as genome-wide significant predictors for BMI (29 SNPs) and diabetes risk (39 SNPs). Linear regression models with years of schooling indicate that the effect of genetic risk on HbA1c is smaller among people with more years of schooling and larger among those with less than a high school (HS) degree compared to HS degree-holders. Quantile regression models show that the GRS × education effect systematically increased along the HbA1c outcome distribution; for example the GRS × years of education interaction coefficient was -0.01 (95% CI = -0.03, 0.00) at the 10th percentile compared to -0.03 (95% CI = -0.07, 0.00) at the 90th percentile. These results suggest that education may be an important socioeconomic source of heterogeneity in responses to genetic vulnerability to T2D.Social Science & Medicine 09/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.09.009 · 2.56 Impact Factor
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- "Future studies on this issue will need a category scheme that is far more subtle and complete than the one used here and in the Taiwan study. In sum, the findings of this study paralleled previous western research that suggested the importance of educational attainment as an indicator of SES for women . "
ABSTRACT: Scant research has taken a life-course perspective to explore the longitudinal impact of socioeconomic disadvantage and perceived social support on the psychological well-being of older women. We sought to explore whether socioeconomic disadvantage and perceived social support in mid-life are associated with subsequent depressive symptomatology among older Taiwanese women. This study was based on data from the Taiwan Longitudinal Study on Aging conducted on a nationally representative sample (n = 1,073) of women aged 50 and above with a 12-year follow up. Mid-life socioeconomic disadvantage was assessed by socioeconomic status (SES) (i.e., educational attainment, major lifetime occupation in adulthood, and employment status) and economic strain. Perceived social support included three dimensions: listening, caring, and sick care. We used the short form of the Center of Epidemiological Studies-Depression (CES-D) scale that measures depressive symptomatology within two domains (negative affect and lack of positive affect). Growth curve models were employed to predict the relationships between mid-life socioeconomic disadvantage, perceived social support, and subsequent depressive trajectories, controlling for aging effects. Multivariate analyses demonstrated older women in a socioeconomic disadvantaged position are more likely to report higher initial levels of depressive symptoms in both domains; lack of formal education did not exacerbate depressive symptoms in the lack of positive affect domain over time. In addition, mid-life perceived positive social support in caring and sick care was associated with lower initial levels of depressive symptoms in both domains. Our results suggest independent effects of mid-life socioeconomic disadvantage and perceived social support on subsequent depressive symptomatology among older Taiwanese women.BMC Public Health 04/2014; 14(1):384. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-14-384 · 2.32 Impact Factor