Educational attainment, the amount of education one reaches through adulthood, is an achievement with significant outcomes across the life span. The level of education that one reaches has important implications with regard to life opportunities, and educational attainment is an indicator of adult well-being. Individuals who attain a higher level of education tend to enjoy a wide range of more advantageous long-term outcomes, including more prestigious career opportunities and employment status; higher lifetime earnings; more positive physical health, psychological well-being, and life satisfaction; and greater involvement in community activities. In examining these outcomes, educational attainment is doubtless of exceptional importance not only to the individual but also to the well-being of society as a whole.

Given this important life-span phenomenon, it is essential to understand ...

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