The impact of work and family life histories on economic well-being at older ages

Andrew Halpern-Manners, John Robert Warren, James M. Raymo, D. Adam Nicholson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Motivated by theoretical and empirical research in life course sociology, we examine relationships between trajectories of work and family roles across the life course and four measures of economic well-being in later adulthood. Using data from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS) and multiple trajectory-generating methods, we first identify latent trajectories of work and family roles between late adolescence and age 65. We then model economic well-being at age 65 as a function of these trajectories and contemporaneously measured indicators of older adults' work, family, and health statuses. Our central finding is that trajectories of work and family experiences across the life course have direct effects on later-life economic well-being, as well as indirect effects that operate through more proximate measures of work, family, and other characteristics. We argue that these findings have important implications for how social scientists conceptualize and model the relationship between later-life economic outcomes and people's work and family experiences across the life course.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1369-1396
Number of pages28
JournalSocial Forces
Volume93
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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