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Higher education doesn't make you happy

Higher education doesn't make you happy

From a young age, many of us are taught to do well at school, go to college and graduate from university in order to make a good life for ourselves.

Yes, you're probably more likely to get a job which strict entry requirements if you've studied, but new research has discovered that having a good education isn't necessarily the key to improving your chance of happiness.

The University of Warwick carried out a study in which they looked into the socioeconomic factors linked to mental wellbeing, including an individual's personal finances and level of education.

Researchers reasoned that it's often assumed having a low level of education means being more prone to mental illness, so they wanted to see if a person having higher education under their belt meant improved mental wellbeing.

They did this by looking extensively into existing data from the Health Survey for England in 2010 and 2011. Across both years, 17,030 participants took part in the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMWBS), made up of 14 positively-worded items with five response categories to assess people's welfare.

From their evaluation, Warwick researchers found that people from all levels of education had similar odds of high mental wellbeing, which they defined as "feeling good and functioning well". It was also discovered that those with high levels of mental wellbeing are able to maintain happiness and contentment in their lives more due to the way they tackled any problems facing them, such as relationship issues.

“These findings are quite controversial because we expected to find the socioeconomic factors that are associated with mental illness would also be correlated with mental wellbeing," lead author Professor Sarah Stewart-Brown explained. "So if low educational attainment was strongly associated with mental illness, high educational attainment would be strongly connected to mental wellbeing. But that is not the case.”

Professor Stewart-Brown added that Afro-Caribbean people demonstrated the highest levels of mental wellbeing, particularly males.

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