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J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2020 Mar 24. pii: gbaa036. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbaa036. [Epub ahead of print]

Do welfare regimes moderate cumulative dis/advantages over the life course? Cross-national evidence from longitudinal SHARE data.

Author information

1
Swiss NCCR "LIVES - Overcoming Vulnerability: Life Course Perspectives", University of Geneva, Switzerland.
2
Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Gerontology and Vulnerability, University of Geneva, Switzerland.
3
Department of Community Medicine, Primary Care and Emergency Medicine, Geneva University Hospitals, Switzerland.
4
ZHAW School of Social Work, Institute of Diversity and Social Integration, Zurich, Switzerland.
5
INSERM, UMR1027, Toulouse, France.
6
Université Toulouse III Paul-Sabatier, UMR1027, Toulouse, France.
7
NOVA - Norwegian Social Research, Centre for Welfare and Labour Research, OsloMet - Oslo Metropolitan University, Oslo, Norway.
8
Department of Readaptation and Geriatrics, University of Geneva, Switzerland.
9
Institute of Sociological Research, University of Geneva, Switzerland.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

This study aimed to examine the cumulative disadvantage of different forms of childhood misfortune and adult-life socioeconomic conditions with regard to trajectories and levels of self-rated health in old age and whether these associations differed between welfare regimes (Scandinavian, Bismarckian, Southern European, and Eastern European).

METHOD:

The study included 24,004 respondents aged 50 to 96 from the longitudinal SHARE survey. Childhood misfortune included childhood socioeconomic conditions, adverse childhood experiences, and adverse childhood health experiences. Adult-life socioeconomic conditions consisted of education, main occupational position, and financial strain. We analyzed associations with poor self-rated health using confounder-adjusted mixed-effects logistic regression models for the complete sample and stratified by welfare regime.

RESULTS:

Disadvantaged respondents in terms of childhood misfortune and adult-life socioeconomic conditions had a higher risk of poor self-rated health at age 50. However, differences narrowed with aging between adverse-childhood-health-experiences categories (driven by Southern and Eastern European welfare regimes), categories of education (driven by Bismarckian welfare regime), and main occupational position (driven by Scandinavian welfare regime).

DISCUSSION:

Our research did not find evidence of cumulative disadvantage with aging in the studied life-course characteristics and age range. Instead, trajectories showed narrowing differences with differing patterns across welfare regimes.

KEYWORDS:

Cumulative advantage/disadvantage; Early origins of health; Life course analysis; Self-rated health

PMID:
32206791
DOI:
10.1093/geronb/gbaa036

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