English title: Education, Educational Heterogamy, and Self-Assessed Health in Europe: A Multilevel Study of Spousal Effects in 29 European Countries

Author(s): Tim Huijts - Christiaan W. S. Monden - Gerbert Kraaykamp -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2010


This study extends earlier research on educational inequality and health in two ways. First, we examine whether own educational level and spouse's educational level are independently associated with self-assessed health throughout European societies by analysing 29 countries simultaneously. Second, we ask to what extent educational heterogamy at the country level is related to health differences between and within countries. Theories on social capital lead to the hypotheses that average health is better in countries with more educational heterogamy, and educational differentiation in health is smaller in countries with more educational heterogamy. To test our expectations, we use individual data from the European Social Survey of 2002, 2004, and 2006 (N = 59,314) as well as country-level data. Using multilevel analyses, we find that not only one's own educational level, but additionally the spouse's level of education positively affects self-assessed health in Europe. The degree of educational heterogamy does not influence the average level of self-assessed health in a country. However, the positive relationships between own and partner's education and self-assessed health are weaker as the degree of educational heterogamy at the national level is higher.

Volume: 26

Issue: 3

From page no: 261

To page no: 276

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1093/ESR/JCP019

Journal: European Sociological Review

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