Biological and Sociocultural Factors During the School Years Predicting Women's Lifetime Educational Attainment.


BACKGROUND Lifetime educational attainment is an important predictor of health and well-being for women in the United States. In this study, we examine the roles of sociocultural factors in youth and an understudied biological life event, pubertal timing, in predicting women's lifetime educational attainment. METHODS Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 cohort (N = 3889), we conducted sequential multivariate linear regression analyses to investigate the influences of macro-level and family-level sociocultural contextual factors in youth (region of country, urbanicity, race/ethnicity, year of birth, household composition, mother's education, and mother's age at first birth) and early menarche, a marker of early pubertal development, on women's educational attainment after age 24. RESULTS Pubertal timing and all sociocultural factors in youth, other than year of birth, predicted women's lifetime educational attainment in bivariate models. Family factors had the strongest associations. When family factors were added to multivariate models, geographic region in youth, and pubertal timing were no longer significant. CONCLUSION Our findings provide additional evidence that family factors should be considered when developing comprehensive and inclusive interventions in childhood and adolescence to promote lifetime educational attainment among girls.

DOI: 10.1111/josh.12368

Cite this paper

@article{Hendrick2016BiologicalAS, title={Biological and Sociocultural Factors During the School Years Predicting Women's Lifetime Educational Attainment.}, author={C Emily Hendrick and Alison Klebanoff Cohen and Julianna K Deardorff and Jessica Duncan Cance}, journal={The Journal of school health}, year={2016}, volume={86 3}, pages={215-24} }