Adult children's education and changes to parents' physical health in Mexico

Jenjira J. Yahirun, Connor M. Sheehan, Mark D. Hayward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


The well-being of older adults is frequently tied to support from their adult children. Here, we assess whether the education of adult offspring is associated with changes to older parents' short- and long-term health in Mexico, a rapidly aging context with historically limited institutional support for the elderly. Educational expansion over the past half century, however, provides older adults with greater resources to rely on via the education of their children. Using longitudinal data from the Mexican Health and Aging Study (2001–2012), we find that offspring education is not associated with short-term changes in parents' physical functioning, but is associated with increased parental longevity, net of children's financial status and transfers. In addition, we find that mothers' longevity is more sensitive to offspring education than fathers. Our findings add to a growing body of literature that urges policy-makers to consider the multi-generational advantages of expanding educational opportunities in Mexico.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-101
Number of pages9
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
StatePublished - May 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Education
  • Family
  • Functional limitations
  • Mexico
  • Mortality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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