Employment trajectories and health: cohort differences in English and French women
Category: Journal Articles
Sara Zella, Sarah Harper (2020) Employment trajectories and health: cohort differences in English and French women, Journal of Public Health, , fdaa064, https://doi.org/10.1093/pubmed/fdaa064
Policy and social change have increased women’s participation in the labour market and their opportunity to combine paid work with family care. We analyse whether a specific combination of employment and domestic duties over the life course are associated with variations in English and French women’s health, focusing on two birth cohorts.
We used sequence analysis to group women in English Longitudinal Study of Ageing and Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe, according to their work and family histories. Using ordered logistic regression, we tested for group differences in later self-reported health and depressive symptoms, while controlling for a range of adult socio-economic circumstances.
The findings confirm important differences between birth cohorts and countries. French women report a higher risk of poor self-reported health and mental issues than English women. Full-time domestic duties were particularly deleterious for the health of the two younger cohorts, whereas a combination of employment and domestic duties across the life course had a positive association with later-life health.
Further research is needed to explore the mechanisms linking work and care trajectories to poor health.
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