The effect of education on mortality among older Taiwanese and its pathways

J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 1998 Mar;53(2):S71-82. doi: 10.1093/geronb/53b.2.s71.


The present research examines the impact of education on the mortality of older Taiwanese during a 4-year interval from April 1989 to April 1993. Data used for this study come from the Taiwan Survey of Health & Living Status of the Elderly (1989). The research decomposes the effect of education into the direct effect and the indirect effects by means of health status, health behaviors, and social relationships. We have shown that, of the total effect of educational attainment on the mortality of older Taiwanese, about 83% represents indirect influences by means of the 3 mediating factors, particularly health status. On the other hand, the magnitude of the direct effect, which might reflect influences of additional intervening variables on old-age mortality, is low and not statistically significant. The results demonstrate that the apparent strong effect of education on mortality among older Taiwanese can be accounted for parsimoniously through 3 major pathways.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging*
  • Educational Status*
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mortality*
  • Social Support
  • Taiwan / epidemiology