Presentation on theme: "The importance of life course research in an aging population ESRC International Centre for Life Course Studies in Society and Health UC London, Imperial,"— Presentation transcript:
The importance of life course research in an aging population ESRC International Centre for Life Course Studies in Society and Health UC London, Imperial, Essex, Manchester
Most unemployed men 1971-1981 regain work by 1991
Employment history 1971-1991 and social class 1991: % in non-manual class 1991
Risk of limiting long term illness by unemployment in 1971, allowing for subsequent labour market disadvantage
Usefulness of a Birth Cohort Study These kind of data allow us to look in far more detail at life-courses Could it be that people get into a trajectory that increases the risk of unemployment, poor health, and early exit from the labour force? If so, how early does this start?
Relationship of unemployment to father’s social class at birth Odds ratio Adj. crowding, education, region,height at 7, BSAG, parents’ heights
Unemployment 12+ months by household overcrowding in childhood Adj. Father’s class, education, region, heights, BSAG Odds ratio Persons per room
Unemployment 12+ months by social adjustment (BSAG) at 11 years Degree of maladjustment Odds ratio
Unemployment 12+ months by education Adj. Fathers class, crowding, region, BSAG, height Odds ratio
Precursors of unemployment Material circumstances in the family of origin, as indicated by father’s class at birth and overcrowding Behavioural adjustment of the child Educational attainment
Importance of precursor factors for risk of 12+ months unemployment (mutually adjusted)
Environmental determinants of unemployment: regional unemployment rates We have looked at the importance of background factors of individuals Important not to forget the environment, i.e. in this case, the local demand for labour. Regional unemployment rates had a strong effect on the risk of unemployment regardless of all other factors.
“Life-course” determinants of unemployment risk Cohort studies enable us to begin to see sequences of events an unfolding processes. Any measure may be acting as an indicator rather than a “cause”. Interdependence of effects and time order are difficult to do analytical justice to.
Risk of 1 year+ unemployment 1981- 1991 by height at age 7 Adjusted for birth class, overcrowding, education, region, height, BSAG score and parents height
Risk of being in shortest 1/5 height at age 7 by paternal social class Adjusted for family conflict and crowding
Very long term influences and markers Large effect of paternal social class appears to be to an important extent the result of increased family conflict as well as material circumstances in the home The strange-looking relationship of height at age 7 to later unemployment is likely to be due to the sensitivity of child height as an indicator of both material and psycho- social conditions in early life
Independent role of unemployment in the life course process Caution against seeing everything as pre- determined in early life Take groups of study participants classified according to earlier influences Examine ‘effect’ of unemployment 1974 (age 16) to 1985 (age 27) on social circumstances at age 33 (1991) Include only those in stable employment since 1985, so we are only looking at longer term processes.
Variable definition Goldthorpe service class; Top 3/5 income distribution; Owning or purchasing home at age 33. “Socio-economic advantage score” Scored 0 (low) to 3 (high). Unemployment: none, 1-12 months, 13+ months between ages 16 and 27
Effect of unemployment duration on relationship between father’s class and adult socio-economic circumstances
Odds of least favourable socio-economic circumstances at age 33 by father’s class at birth and months of unemployment
Odds of least favourable socio-economic circumstances at age 33 by non-verbal ability at age 11 and unemployment
Changing trajectories These studies used the 1958 British Birth Cohort (NCDS) What would the patterns look like in the 1970 Cohort? What would they look like in the 1946 Cohort?
The ‘long shadow’ It is increasingly found that declines in functioning with age are related to early life conditions and processes Much economic inactivity precedes retirement age, and this will only get worse if retirement age is delayed Are the processes that increase the risk of work disability the same as those what decrease healthy life expectancy?