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Aging Well in an Aging World: Inequalities in Health and Well-being across the Life Course

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Abstract:

The world’s population is aging, but quality of life in older adulthood is unequally distributed. Using measures of self-rated health and subjective well-being, we examine the individual and social factors that shape older adulthood in 56 countries. In addition to examining inequalities in health and well-being for older adults between countries, we examine the differences between older (50 and over) and younger adults (under 50) within countries. Aging well is not simply a fact of country wealth or personal income. We conduct multi-level analyses to see which individual factors (e.g. gender and education) and which country level factors (e.g. democracy, GDP) impact health and well-being, and how these differ across ages. The country with the highest levels of self-rated health for both older and younger adults is Nigeria, which has one of the shortest life expectancies (53 years). Overall, we find that older adults feel less healthy than younger adults, but older adults in the former Soviet Union feel much less healthy than their under-50 counterparts. The same is true for life satisfaction. Although older adults do not necessarily feel more dissatisfied with their lives than younger adults, they are much more dissatisfied in the former Soviet Union. Regression results show that Soviet status strongly impacts the health and well-being of older adults above and beyond their individual characteristics. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of how altered life-course expectations impacts aging.

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Independent Variables Individual Level Following prior research, we use the following demographic variable (18), e investigate the health and well­being of both older and younger adults across 56  countries. We examine the individual and social factors and that may shape how individuals feel  about their lives. We split the sample into two age group (14), s expected, age decreases the odds of feeling in good or very good health. Men feel  significantly healthier than women at all ages, and married people feel significantly healthier  than unmarried people. Those with higher levels of education have higher odds of reporting good health, and the same is true for higher income. An interesting difference emerges when  considering the role of having children on healt (5), IGURE 4 ABOUT HERE These descriptive results lead to the next logical questio (5), ttp (2), urning back to the individual level variables, increasing age is significantly associated  with lower Life Satisfaction in the under 50 sample, but this is reversed for the 50 and over  sample. In that group, increasing age is actually strongly related with more Life Satisfaction.  Men are significantly more dissatisfied with their lives than women, while married people are  more satisfied than unmarried people. Again we find differences between the age groups when  considering educatio (2), tt (2), . (1), igur (1), 6 Figur (1), egisbrief (1), 0(28) (1), –2. (1), . (1), 7 18 19 Figur (1), ul (1), ampl (1), nde (1), dd (1), 1 (1), odels (1),
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Association:
Name: American Sociological Association Annual Meeting
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http://www.asanet.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1378872_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Peterson, Lindsey. and Ralston, Margaret. "Aging Well in an Aging World: Inequalities in Health and Well-being across the Life Course" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Pennsylvania Convention Center & Philadelphia Marriott, Philadelphia, PA, Aug 09, 2018 <Not Available>. 2018-12-11 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1378872_index.html>

APA Citation:

Peterson, L. P. and Ralston, M. , 2018-08-09 "Aging Well in an Aging World: Inequalities in Health and Well-being across the Life Course" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Pennsylvania Convention Center & Philadelphia Marriott, Philadelphia, PA Online <PDF>. 2018-12-11 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1378872_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: The world’s population is aging, but quality of life in older adulthood is unequally distributed. Using measures of self-rated health and subjective well-being, we examine the individual and social factors that shape older adulthood in 56 countries. In addition to examining inequalities in health and well-being for older adults between countries, we examine the differences between older (50 and over) and younger adults (under 50) within countries. Aging well is not simply a fact of country wealth or personal income. We conduct multi-level analyses to see which individual factors (e.g. gender and education) and which country level factors (e.g. democracy, GDP) impact health and well-being, and how these differ across ages. The country with the highest levels of self-rated health for both older and younger adults is Nigeria, which has one of the shortest life expectancies (53 years). Overall, we find that older adults feel less healthy than younger adults, but older adults in the former Soviet Union feel much less healthy than their under-50 counterparts. The same is true for life satisfaction. Although older adults do not necessarily feel more dissatisfied with their lives than younger adults, they are much more dissatisfied in the former Soviet Union. Regression results show that Soviet status strongly impacts the health and well-being of older adults above and beyond their individual characteristics. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of how altered life-course expectations impacts aging.


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