Educational attainment is one of the strongest determinants of subjective health and well-being. Minorities’ Diminished Returns, however, suggests that such an effect may be smaller for the members of racial/ethnic minorities such as Blacks and Hispanics relative to non-Hispanic Whites. Only one study has previously shown that minorities’ diminished returns may also apply to lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals; however, that study has focused on other outcomes (i.e., obesity). Aims:
To compare LGB and non-LGB American adults for the effects of educational attainment on subjective health and well-being. Methods:
This cross-sectional study used baseline data of 31,480 adults in the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH, 2013), a nationally representative study in the United States. The independent variable was educational attainment. The dependent variable was subjective health and well-being, measured using four items. Race, ethnicity, age, gender, poverty status, and employment were the covariates. LGB status was the moderator. Results:
Overall, individuals with higher educational attainment had better subjective health and well-being. We found a significant interaction between LGB status and educational attainment which was suggestive of that the boosting effect of high educational attainment on better subjective health and well-being was systemically smaller for LGB than non-LGB individuals. Conclusions:
In the United States, highly educated LGB adults experience poor subjective health and well-being, a status that is disproportionate to their educational attainment.
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