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Live long and prosper? Childhood living conditions, marital status, social class in adulthood and mortality during mid-life: A cohort study
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work. Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS).
2011 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1403-4948, E-ISSN 1651-1905, Vol. 39, no 2, 179-186 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aims: The aim of the present study was to investigate the impact of childhood living conditions, marital status, and social class in adulthood on the risk of mortality during mid-life. Two questions were addressed: Is there an effect of childhood living conditions on mortality risk during mid-life and if so, is the effect mediated or modified by social class and/or marital status in adulthood? Methods: A nationally representative, Swedish, level of living survey from 1968 was used as baseline. The study included those aged 25—69 at baseline (n = 4082). Social conditions in childhood and adulthood were assessed using self-reports. These individuals were then followed for 39 years using registry data on mortality. Results: The results showed associations between childhood living conditions, marital status, social class in adulthood and mortality during mid life. Social class and familial conditions during childhood as well as marital status and social class in adulthood all contributed to the risk of mortality during mid-life. Individuals whose father’s were manual workers, who grew up in broken homes, who were unmarried, and/or were manual workers in adulthood had an increased risk of mortality during mid life. The effects of childhood conditions were, in part, both mediated and modified by social class in adulthood. Conclusions: The findings of this study suggest that there are structural, social conditions experienced at different stages of the life course that affect the risk of mortality during mid-life.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 39, no 2, 179-186 p.
Keyword [en]
Childhood, life course, mortality, socioeconomic position, Sweden
National Category
Social Work Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-55444DOI: 10.1177/1403494810395823ISI: 000288065000009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-55444DiVA: diva2:404007
Available from: 2011-03-15 Created: 2011-03-15 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Blood on the tracks: Life-course perspectives on health inequalities in later life
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Blood on the tracks: Life-course perspectives on health inequalities in later life
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The overall aim of the thesis was to explore social inequalities in: a) mortality during mid-life, b) health in later life, and c) old-age mortality, from a life-course perspective. The studies are based on longitudinal Swedish survey and registry data.

The results from Study I showed substantial inequalities in health, based on social class and gender, among older adults (aged 55+). Moreover, the magnitude of these inequalities did not change during the period 1991-2002.

The results from Study II revealed social inequalities in cognitive functioning among the oldest old (aged 77+). Social turbulence and social class during childhood, education and social class in adulthood were all independently associated with level of cognitive functioning in later life.

In Study III, social inequalities in mortality during mid-life (i.e., between ages 25 and 69) were explored. The results showed that childhood living conditions were associated with marital status and social class in adulthood and that, in turn, these conditions were associated with mid-life mortality. Thus, the results suggested that childhood disadvantage may serve as a stepping stone to a hazardous life-course trajectory.

Study IV explored the association between income in mid-life, income during retirement and old-age mortality (i.e., mortality during retirement). The results showed that both income during mid-life and income during retirement were associated with old-age mortality. Mutually adjusted models showed that income in mid-life was more important for women’s mortality and that income during retirement was more important for men’s.

Thus, the results of the present thesis suggest that there are substantial social inequalities in the likelihood of reaching old age, as well as in health and mortality among older adults. These inequalities are shaped by differential exposures throughout the life-course that affect health in later life both through direct effects and through processes of accumulation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Social Work, Stockholm University, 2010. 67 p.
Series
Stockholm studies in social work, ISSN 0281-2851 ; 27
Keyword
Sweden, life-course, health, socioeconomic, childhood
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-38848 (URN)978-91-7447-062-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-06-14, Aula Svea, Socialhögskolan, Sveaplan, Stockholm, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished  and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Manuscript. Paper 4: Manuscript.Available from: 2010-05-22 Created: 2010-04-30 Last updated: 2012-03-07Bibliographically approved

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