CFS: Educational Attainment & Adult Health

Call for Papers for a Special Issue of Social Science & Medicine: Educational Attainment and Adult Health: Contextualizing Causality 

Social Science & Medicine invites submissions that examine the causal connections between educational attainment and adult health. The association between education and adult health has been documented in numerous—but not all—countries and contexts. However, the magnitude of the association varies considerably across countries and contexts, and explanations for the association remain contested. Is education causally related to health? If so, in what direction and under what conditions is it causally related?

This Special Issue seeks articles that address the question: “Under what conditions and due to what causal mechanisms (mediators) are education and adult health causally related” Perhaps education and health are causally related only under certain sociopolitical contexts, or above a certain GDP, or for particular genetic endowments, for example.

Submissions should consider the following:

  • Papers on developing countries are of highest priority and will be given special consideration.
  • Papers can be empirically based, using quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods, or theoretical.
  • Papers from all disciplines of the Journal are welcome; for example, social science disciplines (anthropology, economics, epidemiology, geography, policy, psychology, and sociology) and material relevant to the social sciences from any of the professions concerned with physical and mental health, health care, clinical practice, and health policy and organization.
  • Papers are sought that investigate the underlying causal mechanisms linking education and health.
  • Health is broadly defined, for example, morbidity, disability, mental health, mortality.
  • Papers that focus on a single country, a particular social context, or international comparisons are appropriate.
  • Empirical papers finding no causal relationship under a range of conditions are also appropriate.

The Guest Editors of this Special Issue are Jennifer Karas Montez (Harvard University, USA) and Esther Friedman (Harvard University, USA). The deadline for submissions is 31 December 2013. Authors should submit online at, and when asked, choose the Special Issue title from list of Article Types provided. All submissions should meet Social Science & Medicine author guidelines (also available at


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