Academic Commons


Can universal pre-kindergarten programs improve population health and longevity? Mechanisms, evidence, and policy implications

Muennig, Peter A.

Recent research has found that children who attended pre-kindergarten programs in childhood were more likely to be healthy as adults. One intuitive way of improving population health and longevity may therefore be to invest in pre-kindergarten programs. However, much of the research linking pre-kindergarten programs to health is very recent and has not been synthesized. In this paper, I review the mechanisms linking pre-kindergarten programs in childhood to adult longevity, and the experimental evidence backing up these linkages. I conclude with a critical exploration of whether investments in pre-kindergarten programs could also serve as investments in public health.


  • thumnail for SSM_pre_K_policies_and_health.pdf SSM_pre_K_policies_and_health.pdf application/pdf 526 KB Download File

Also Published In

Social Science and Medicine

More About This Work

Academic Units
Health Policy and Management
Published Here
November 15, 2016
Academic Commons provides global access to research and scholarship produced at Columbia University, Barnard College, Teachers College, Union Theological Seminary and Jewish Theological Seminary. Academic Commons is managed by the Columbia University Libraries.