The WHERL team presented new findings at an invited symposium of the International Sociological Association led by Professor Karen Glaser in Vienna, Austria in July 2016. The session was entitled “Wellbeing, Health, and Later Life Work from a Cross-National Comparative Perspective” and featured five papers investigating later-life employment, health and wellbeing.
Policy reforms designed to extend the working lives of older adults have been implemented since the 1990s in many industrialised countries, but the implications for health and wellbeing, and inequalities among social groups, are not well understood. The symposium findings included the latest analysis of these issues using sophisticated quantitative methodologies (optimal matching analysis) and national data from England (English Longitudinal Study of Ageing), Europe (the Surveys of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe), the US (Health and Retirement), and European cohort studies.
Full details of the symposium and abstracts are available from the conference website. In brief:
The first paper compares the gendered labour market trajectories of older adults in four distinct welfare state regimes (McDonough and colleagues, University of Toronto).
Focusing on the UK, the second paper examines how the relationship between employment and family experiences and later-life work has changed across birth cohorts using three nationally representative datasets (Glaser and colleagues, KCL).
The third paper investigates the association between later-life employment biographies (ages 50-69), gender and health among older adults in the US and UK in light of country specific policies across the life course (Corna and colleagues, KCL).
The fourth uses UK longitudinal data (Understanding Society and ELSA) to explore the relationships between lifelong learning, wellbeing and paid work in later life for different socio-economic groups (Hyde and colleagues, Manchester).
The final paper investigates psychosocial working conditions, health and wellbeing as predictors of working beyond age 50 across multiple European cohorts (Carr et al., UCL).