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Health in working-aged Americans: adults with high school equivalency diploma are similar to dropouts, not high school graduates.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES

We compared health outcomes for adults with the General Equivalency Diploma (GED) and regular high school diploma to determine whether GED recipients are equivalent to regular graduates despite research that documents their disadvantages in other outcomes.

METHODS

We used 1997 to 2009 National Health Interview Survey cross-sectional data on high school dropouts, graduates, and GED recipients aged 30 to 65 years (n = 76,705). Five general health indicators and 20 health conditions were analyzed using logistic models.

RESULTS

GED recipients had a significantly higher prevalence of every health outcome compared with high school graduates (odds ratios = 1.3-2.7). The GED-high school differences attenuated but remained evident after controlling for health insurance, economic status, and health behaviors. For most conditions, the 95% confidence interval for GED earners overlapped with that for high school dropouts.

CONCLUSIONS

The high school equivalency diploma was associated with nonequivalent health: adults with a GED had health comparable to that of high school dropouts, not graduates. GED recipients were at increased risk for many health conditions, and their health should be viewed as distinct from regular graduates. The findings have implications for health and educational policies.

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    Source

    American journal of public health 102 Suppl 2: 2012 May pg S284-90

    MeSH

    Adult
    Aged
    Chronic Disease
    Cross-Sectional Studies
    Educational Status
    Female
    Health Behavior
    Health Status
    Humans
    Male
    Middle Aged
    Occupations
    Population Surveillance
    Student Dropouts
    United States

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    22401512