Life-Course Circumstances and Frailty in Old Age Within Different European Welfare Regimes: A Longitudinal Study With SHARE
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionVan der Linden, Sieber, Cheval, Orsholits, Guessous, Gabriel, von Arx, Kelly-Irving, Aartsen, Blane, Boisgontier, Oris, Kliegel, Cullati. Life-Course Circumstances and Frailty in Old Age Within Different European Welfare Regimes: A Longitudinal Study With SHARE. The journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences. 2019 https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/geronb/gbz140
Objectives: This study aimed to assess whether cumulative disadvantage in childhood misfortune and adult-life socioeconomic conditions influence the risk of frailty in old age and whether welfare regimes influence these associations. Method: Data from 23,358 participants aged 50 years and older included in the longitudinal SHARE survey were used. Frailty was operationalized according to Fried’s phenotype as presenting either weakness, shrinking, exhaustion, slowness, or low activity. Confounder-adjusted mixed-effects logistic regression models were used to analyze associations of childhood misfortune and life-course socioeconomic conditions with frailty. Results: Childhood misfortune and poor adult-life socioeconomic conditions increased the odds of (pre-)frailty at older age. With aging, differences narrowed between categories of adverse childhood experiences (driven by Scandinavian welfare regime) and adverse childhood health experiences (driven by Eastern European welfare regime), but increased between categories of occupational position (driven by Bismarckian welfare regime). Discussion: These findings suggest that childhood misfortune is linked to frailty in old age. Such a disadvantaged start in life does not seem to be compensated by a person’s life-course socioeconomic trajectory, though certain types of welfare regimes affected this relationship. Apart from main occupational position, our findings do not support the cumulative dis/ advantage theory, but rather show narrowing differences.
PublisherOxford University Press
SeriesJournals of Gerontology, Series B;
JournalThe journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences
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