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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.

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Also Published In

Title
Social Science and Medicine
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.08.033

More About This Work

Academic Units
Health Policy and Management
Publisher
Elsevier
Published Here
November 15, 2016
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