Revisiting Health Disparities Linked to “Some College”: Incorporating Gender and High School Experiences


Andersson, Matthew A.; Wilkinson, Renae; & Maralani, Vida (2023). Revisiting Health Disparities Linked to “Some College”: Incorporating Gender and High School Experiences. Social Currents.


In the United States, “some college” is attained more frequently than a 4-year college degree. However, attainments below 4-year college vary considerably in terms of credentials and years of higher education, and gender differences in health disparities remain overlooked. Additionally, high school experiences may confound any estimated health gains. We draw on national longitudinal data (Add Health; Waves IV and V) to estimate associations between subbaccalaureate education and general health during young adulthood and again at early midlife. Relative to attaining no education past high school, women’s greater self-rated health with all levels of postsecondary attainment is robust to high school experiences, with the exception of vocational/technical training without a degree, in young adulthood and in early midlife. Greater health gains are linked to associate degrees compared to some college without a degree. For men, health benefits are found only among 4-year degree holders. For both genders, depressive symptom buffering linked to subbaccalaureate education is inconsistent and sometimes not robust to high school experiences. Overall, these findings offer a compelling case for recasting college health gains in terms of distinct postsecondary endpoints by gender.




Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

Social Currents


Andersson, Matthew A.
Wilkinson, Renae
Maralani, Vida

Year Published






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