Correlation between Education Level and Happiness

Abstract

It is difficult to traverse life without experiencing depression, but what is the cause of this issue? Happiness is something we all want to have in life; do certain things help us feel happier? These questions can be answered in many different ways because a person’s happiness can be affected by many things. This paper will discuss the results of current studies on education level being a cause of depression. The research being explored in this paper will attempt to explain a possible connection between attained education level and the level of happiness the person feels. We will conclude the paper with a summation of our research findings and any possible recommendations for continued research.

Correlation between Education Level and Happiness Level

Much of the research found for this paper connects education level as a possible cause of depression. I will be using depression to explain a low happiness level in reference to the research information being explored.  Research done by Bauldry in 2015 compared a group of over 11,000 adults who had some type of higher education. Bauldry separated the participants into two groups; group A was people with 4 yr. degrees of higher, while group B were people who had less than a 4 yr. degree. Then the participant’s level of depression was measured and a connection was found. The research showed that “Education offers a degree of protection against depression as numerous studies have documented an inverse association between educational attainment and depression,” (Bauldry, 2015). In 2008 a group of researchers investigated the influence of educational attainment on depression and the potential risks of diabetes (Mezuk et al., 2008). The study was done over the course of 23 yrs. and focused on a diverse group of individuals in the Baltimore area. The study found a correlation between low levels of education and health risks including depression and diabetes (Mezuk et al., 2008). The use of longitudinal research allows the development and consistency of depression to truly unravel the participant’s life happiness level. Much like Baldry’s research, Tietler and Todd did a random sampling of over 26,000 participants. They utilized a random sampling of adults through an online questionnaire. The questionnaire was seeking a correlation between education level and psychological issues. Their study showed that participants with lower education levels seemed to show higher levels of depression and even more severe psychological ailments (Todd & Teitler, 2019). The study also showed that the participant’s depression rates continued to spike over the course of time in those with lower educational levels (Todd & Teitler, 2019). The level of research that has been done on this topic proves to show the powerful correlation between happiness level and educational level. Another research team Peyrot et. al. (2015) decided to try their hand at researching this topic. They selected a sample group of over 24,000 adults from the Netherlands to see if there is a correlation between education and future risks of depression. The group of participants was selected randomly and found that, “ lower socioeconomic status has shown to be associated with less healthy life styles (less physical exercise, more smoking, higher body mass index and more use of alcohol, “ (Peyrot et al., 2015).Lower socioeconomic status supports a lower education level, and proves that it can affect physical health as well. Another way of interpreting this information is that low physical health can also lead to severe depression (Riedel et al., 2010). These results are similar to those found by Mezuk et al (2008). Their research studied major depressive disorder and its possible connection to diabetes type 2. They discovered that individuals with an education level of high school or lower show a greater propensity towards diabetes type 2 and major depressive disorder. Once again the researchers found a correlation between physical and mental health. They also showed that with attainment of higher education can provide individuals with a greater knowledge of health risks (Mezuk et al., 2008). It is no coincidence that physical and mental health are found to be better in those with higher education; these individuals may have better health access, or in some cases just more money to go towards health and wellness (Riedel et al., 2010).  Liu et al. (2019) explored this phenomenon more with their studies in student’s psychological wellbeing while they experience college life. The study showed, “Mental health serves as an integral component of overall health and well-being, and plays an important role in maintaining physical health,” (Liu et al., 2019). Their study showed that stress and anxiety was heightened during certain parts of the student’s educational journey, the study didn’t explore the experiences after education was received. The study did point out that the levels of depression experienced were not extreme. This study could prove to benefit from longitudinal research by interviewing these participants after their degrees were attained.

The results from the research provided shows how education level can have direct effects on an individual’s level of depression through life. Knowing this obvious correlation helps identify the hypothesis for this research initiative. Our current hypothesis for this research is……