Longer compulsory education not necessarily better for cognitive & mental health outcomes; a natural experiment finds differences between genders

Emilie Courtin headshot

A new study published in the BMJ Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health examined the long-term health impacts of a policy enacted in France that extended compulsory education by two years. Lead author Emilie Courtin, PhD, a current Harvard Bell Fellow, along with Harvard Pop Center Director Lisa Berkman, and faculty members Mauricio Avendano and Maria Glymour and other colleagues, found that while the reform was linked to improved cognitive scores for men, for women it was linked to higher levels of depressive symptoms.