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Mid-life occupational grade and quality of life following retirement: a 16-year follow-up of the French GAZEL study
King's College London, UK; Imperial College London, UK.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3243-0262
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2015 (English)In: Aging & Mental Health, ISSN 1360-7863, E-ISSN 1364-6915, Vol. 19, no 7, 634-646 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objectives: This article aims to contribute to the literature on life course influences upon quality of life by examining pathways linking social position in middle age to quality of life following retirement in French men and women. Method: Data are from the GAZEL cohort study of employees at the French national gas and electricity company. A finely grained measure of occupational grade in 1989 was obtained from company records. Annual self-completion questionnaires provided information on quality of life in 2005, measured with the CASP-19 scale, and on participants' recent circumstances 2002-2005: mental health, physical functioning, wealth, social status, neighbourhood characteristics, social support and social participation. Path analysis using full information maximum likelihood estimation was performed on 11,293 retired participants. Results: Higher occupational grade in 1989 was associated, in a graded relationship, with better quality of life 16 years later. This association was accounted for by individuals' more recent circumstances, particularly their social status, mental health, physical functioning and wealth. Conclusion: The graded relationship between occupational grade in mid-life and quality of life after labour market exit was largely accounted for by more recent socio-economic circumstances and state of health. The results support a pathway model for the development of social disparities in quality of life, in which earlier social position shapes individual circumstances in later life.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 19, no 7, 634-646 p.
Keyword [en]
life course, CASP-19, social position, Third Age
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-115881DOI: 10.1080/13607863.2014.955458PubMedID: 25220504OAI: diva2:800582
Available from: 2015-04-07 Created: 2015-04-07 Last updated: 2015-05-07Bibliographically approved

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Platts, Loretta G.
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