A new study shows higher education levels are linked to higher levels of wellbeing for Australian women.

Researchers have used data gathered from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey during 2002–2015. 

This general survey measured wellbeing in six different ways: life satisfaction, psychological well-being, psychological distress, positive affect and negative affect.

To assess education levels, the survey measured years of schooling. It also gathered data on health behaviors, social interactions, and income, which the authors assessed as potential mechanisms that may mediate the effects of education on wellbeing.

After analysis, researchers found that higher education levels were connected to higher levels of psychological wellbeing, hedonic wellbeing, positive affect, and reduced psychological distress. 

The data also showed that women with higher levels of education tended to get more physical exercise and smoke less, socialised more frequently with friends and relatives, and were more likely to have a higher household income than less-educated women. 

Further analysis revealed that these health behaviors, social interactions, and income were statistically significant and explained the positive effect of education on wellbeing for the set of women surveyed here.

The study is accessible here.