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Education may not improve our life chances of happiness

Getting a good education may not improve your life chances of happiness, according to new mental health research from the University of Warwick.

In a new study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, researchers from Warwick Medical School examined socioeconomic factors related to high mental wellbeing, such as level of education and personal finances.

Low educational attainment is strongly associated with mental illness but the research team wanted to find out if higher educational attainment is linked with mental wellbeing.

The team found all levels of educational attainment had similar odds of high mental well-being.

High mental wellbeing was defined as ‘feeling good and functioning well’. People with high levels of mental wellbeing manage to feel happy and contented with their lives more often than those who don’t because of the way they manage problems and challenges especially in relationships with others.

Lead author Professor Sarah Stewart-Brown said: “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. So if low educational attainment was strongly associated with mental illness, high educational attainment would be strongly connected to mental well-being. But that is not the case.”

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