First, I’d like to address the finding concerning early age in school. I feel like it may be a little overgeneralized to say that starting school early is likely to lead to an earlier death. I think a better way of phrasing this finding would be that it would be more likely to cause an earlier death if starting school at a younger age was due to the motivation of the parents. For example, I learned how to read by 4 years old and was enrolled in first grade at 5. But that’s simply because I was a really avid learner from a young age. My parents couldn’t stop me from doing math and reading workbooks when I was younger and I would only ask to learn more. I think if learning is stemmed from a child’s genuine interest in education, then you can’t really say that they will end up dying younger due to a dissatisfaction with that decision.
I did, however, understand and agree with the fact that simply one’s level of education wouldn’t predict the age that they die. This finding simply goes back to my perspective that the age that you are likely to die at will most closely correlate with how satisfied you are with your life. If you didn’t want to go to college and you love the job that you’re doing now, then there’s really no reason that you would die earlier. Dissatisfaction with life by far will cause reckless and more risky health behaviors that will lead to an earlier death; simple as that.
As far as the chapter on divorce goes, I can definitely see how that could relate to dissatisfaction with life and an earlier death. We’ve always known that experiencing divorce at a young age can affect a child throughout their maturity and early adulthood. I did, however, find it surprising that the researchers didn’t foresee children with weaker family ties having an easier time adjusting to divorce. For me, that’s a no-brainer. If a child has a less positive family environment, the divorce of the parents is not going to alter that or cause much distress. Whereas, if a child really loves her parents together and values their marriage, it’s obviously going to cause some issues for her to adjust. I think that the relationships in a child’s environment are very important to a child growing up and can have a very strong effect on how a child will interact with others throughout both childhood and adulthood. Consequently, if a child has poorer relationships throughout their life, life is likely going to seem less satisfying, therefore potentially causing an earlier death.