Research shows that parents of college-educated children live longer than parents of children who do not attend college.
Parents want the best for their children, and a lot of parents believe their children will benefit from a college education.
It turns out that the parents of college-educated children benefit as well, because they live longer.
Sociologists using data collected by the University of Michigan’s Health and retirement study have determined that the parents of children with college educations outlive parents of children who do not attend college. The study looked at the lives of 26,000 adults over the age of 51. Esther M. Friedman and Robert D. Mare then combined that data with the federal government’s National Death Index that first was measured in 1992.
Between those two studies, the sociologists found that of the people still alive from the 1992 study, 56 percent had children with college degrees, while only 50 percent of the people who had passed away since that study had children who had completed college.
Further study from the data found that the average lifespan of parents of college-educated children was 71 while the average life span for those with children who did not go on past high school was 69.
Reasons for the determinations were uncertain at best. The researchers surmised that college-educated children might influence the lifestyles of their parents with a healthier plan than those that do not go on to school. Also, Friedman and Mare found that the parents of college-educated children were less likely to smoke than the parents of children who did not extend their educations.
Adults with college-educated children were also more likely to exercise regularly.
Additionally, to the theory that “my children will be the death of me’’, the researchers found that parents of girls live longer than parents of boys, and moms get more benefit from having a girl than dads do. That determination had nothing to do with the education level of the child.
Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for www.nba.com. He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.
In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.
McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.
McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy Buffett and all things Disney.