Life course pathways to later life
wellbeing
Bram Vanhoutte, James Nazroo & Alan Marshall
CCSR, University of Manchester
Aristotle

Epicurus/Aristippus
Subjective well-being

Hedonic

Eudaimonic

(cognitive+affective)

• Roots in Epicurus,
Bentham, Mill
-Well-being is
maxim...
Life course models
• Critical period model
– Influences at a specific point in time (often early
life) have a life lasting...
Accumulation model
• The accumulation of advantage/ disadvantage
across the life course is most relevant
• Accumulation th...
Life course models
• Plenty of supportive evidence for
accumulation model for Mortality and Physical
Health/Illness (Case ...
Research questions
• Do trajectories of wellbeing in later life differ
according to accumulative socio-economic
profiles?
...
Data
• English Longitudinal Study of Aging (ELSA)
– 5 Waves (2002-2010)
– Wave 1 :11000 participants aged 50+
– Wave 5: 62...
Affective, Cognitive and Eudaimonic Wellbeing
Depressive Symptoms
(CES-D)
(Radloff, 1977)
-Felt depressed
-Was happy
-Coul...
Life course trajectories

– Occupation of Parent (age 14)
– Educational level (age 20)
– Current/last occupation (age 50)
Accumulation ?
• Restructure life course by advantaged/
disadvantaged social positions
– Lowest exposure
• 000 = Parent Ma...
Some descriptives
• Most common trajectories:
– 222: always in the lowest category (23%)
– 221: low background, but middle...
Growth curve models
• Ideally suited to describe change at the
personal level
• Intercept (cross-sectional difference at W...
MAR

Selection

Shared parameter

4

3.5
3
2.5
2
1.5
1
1

2

3

4

5
Dealing with Attrition
• Selective drop-out :
– Related to outcome/trajectory?
– Related to differential mortality?
– Rela...
Affective wellbeing men
4.5
4
3.5

3
2.5
2
1.5
1
0.5
0
52

57

62

67

72

77

82

87

92
Cognitive wellbeing men
30

25

20

15

10

5

0
54

59

64

69

74

79

84

89

94
Eudaimonic well-being men
45
40
35
30
25
20

15
10
5
0
52 54 56 58 60 62 64 66 68 70 72 74 76 78 80 82 84 86 88 90 92 94
Conclusions
• The life course accumulation has an effect on
later life trajectories of well-being
• Strong diverging tende...
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  • Hedonic wb is about pleasure and avoidance of painEudaimonc is about self-development and auonomy
  • The dynamic processes of change over the life span (Elder 1995)
  • Selection model : missingness can be related to value at t-1 (MAR) and also to value at t (NMAR)Shared parameter : Missingness dependent on trajectory
  • life course pathways to later life wellbeing

    1. 1. Life course pathways to later life wellbeing Bram Vanhoutte, James Nazroo & Alan Marshall CCSR, University of Manchester
    2. 2. Aristotle Epicurus/Aristippus
    3. 3. Subjective well-being Hedonic Eudaimonic (cognitive+affective) • Roots in Epicurus, Bentham, Mill -Well-being is maximalisation of pleasure, minimalisation of suffering • Roots in Aristotle: - Well-being is about developing one-self and realising one’s potential (Maslow 1968; Erikson 1959)
    4. 4. Life course models • Critical period model – Influences at a specific point in time (often early life) have a life lasting influence • Accumulation model – The accumulation of advantage/ disadvantage across the life course is most relevant • Social Mobility – What are the consequences of rising and falling on the social ladder?
    5. 5. Accumulation model • The accumulation of advantage/ disadvantage across the life course is most relevant • Accumulation through environmental, behavioural and psychosocial processes • Examples: – Matthew effect (Merton 1968) – Habitus (Bourdieu 1984) – Allostatic load (McEwen & Stellar 1993)
    6. 6. Life course models • Plenty of supportive evidence for accumulation model for Mortality and Physical Health/Illness (Case & Paxson 2011, Pollitt, Rose & Kaufman 2005, Kuh & Schlomo 2004, and many more) • No investigation of Subjective Well-being and limited research on Psychological health (exceptions: Luo & Waite 2005, Haas 2008, both using HRS)
    7. 7. Research questions • Do trajectories of wellbeing in later life differ according to accumulative socio-economic profiles? • Divergence or convergence of wellbeing in later life (Dannefer 1988 , House, Kessler, Herzog et al. 1990) ?
    8. 8. Data • English Longitudinal Study of Aging (ELSA) – 5 Waves (2002-2010) – Wave 1 :11000 participants aged 50+ – Wave 5: 6200 core participants – Refresher + Booster samples • Available at ukds.co.uk
    9. 9. Affective, Cognitive and Eudaimonic Wellbeing Depressive Symptoms (CES-D) (Radloff, 1977) -Felt depressed -Was happy -Could not get going -Enjoyed life -... Satisfaction With Life Scale (Diener, 1984) -In most ways my life is close to ideal -The conditions of my life are excellent -... CASP15 (Hyde et al, 2003) Control/Autonomy -I feel that what happens to me is out of control Pleasure -I enjoy the things that I do Self-Actualisation Yes/No Strongly agree to Strongly disagree (7 categories) Score from 0-8 Score from 5-35 -I choose to do things that I have never done before Often/Sometimes/Not often/Never Score from 4-45
    10. 10. Life course trajectories – Occupation of Parent (age 14) – Educational level (age 20) – Current/last occupation (age 50)
    11. 11. Accumulation ? • Restructure life course by advantaged/ disadvantaged social positions – Lowest exposure • 000 = Parent Managerial / Professional Class +High level of education + Self in Managerial/Professional Class – Highest exposure • 222 = Parent Routine and Manual Class + Low level of education + Self Routine and Manual Class > assumes difference between two classes is equivalent + same value for each point in time
    12. 12. Some descriptives • Most common trajectories: – 222: always in the lowest category (23%) – 221: low background, but middle class job (7%) – 000: always in the highest category (6%) • A lot of missing info on parental occupations (other jobs/something else = 21%) • Recoded to three categories of similar size
    13. 13. Growth curve models • Ideally suited to describe change at the personal level • Intercept (cross-sectional difference at W1) and slope (longitudinal evolution) • Age-vector model: growth model based illustration of how a cohort (5y) changes over time • Assumes Missing at Random(MAR)…
    14. 14. MAR Selection Shared parameter 4 3.5 3 2.5 2 1.5 1 1 2 3 4 5
    15. 15. Dealing with Attrition • Selective drop-out : – Related to outcome/trajectory? – Related to differential mortality? – Related to unobserved factor influencing both(eg. physical health) • Use selection model (Diggle & Kenwood) and shared parameter model (Wu & Carrol) to compare findings
    16. 16. Affective wellbeing men 4.5 4 3.5 3 2.5 2 1.5 1 0.5 0 52 57 62 67 72 77 82 87 92
    17. 17. Cognitive wellbeing men 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 54 59 64 69 74 79 84 89 94
    18. 18. Eudaimonic well-being men 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 52 54 56 58 60 62 64 66 68 70 72 74 76 78 80 82 84 86 88 90 92 94
    19. 19. Conclusions • The life course accumulation has an effect on later life trajectories of well-being • Strong diverging tendencies across cognitive, affective and eudaimonic aspects of wellbeing in third age • Leveling off or converging in fourth age

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