The impact of birthweight and adolescent health on educational attainment

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Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research;


Taylor & Francis (Routledge)

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This article examines the relationship between birthweight, adolescent health (general health and psychological distress) and high school completion in Norway, using survey data linked to longitudinal registry data ( n = 5,354). The fi ndings show that the positive association between birthweight and high school completion can be attributed to socioeconomic status. General adolescent health is explained by socioeconomic status combined with risk- and protective behavior. Psychological distress is mediated by having a close relationship with family and friends among the most af fl uent students, but not among the lower-income students. Among the lower-income students it was, instead, absence from school and feeling comfortable in class that mediated the association between psychological distress and high school completion, net of other factors.



This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Brekke, I., & Reisel, L. (2015). The impact of birthweight and adolescent health on educational attainment. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 1-16. [copyright Taylor & Francis], available online at:

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