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Gendered work-family trajectories and depression at older age.

Authors
  • Engels, Miriam1
  • Weyers, Simone2
  • Moebus, Susanne3
  • Jöckel, Karl-Heinz3
  • Erbel, Raimund3
  • Pesch, Beate4
  • Behrens, Thomas4
  • Dragano, Nico1
  • Wahrendorf, Morten1
  • 1 Institute of Medical Sociology, Medical Faculty, Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf , Düsseldorf , Germany. , (Germany)
  • 2 Centre for Health and Society, Medical Faculty, Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf , Düsseldorf , Germany. , (Germany)
  • 3 Institute of Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology, Medical Faculty, University of Duisburg-Essen , Essen , Germany. , (Germany)
  • 4 Institute for Prevention and Occupational Medicine of the German Social Accident Insurance (IPA), Institute of the Ruhr-University Bochum , Bochum , Germany. , (Germany)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Aging & Mental Health
Publisher
Informa UK (Taylor & Francis)
Publication Date
Nov 01, 2019
Volume
23
Issue
11
Pages
1478–1486
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1080/13607863.2018.1501665
PMID: 30621439
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Objectives: The paper identifies types of work-family trajectories of men and women and investigates their links with depression at older age. Method: We use data from the Heinz Nixdorf Recall study, with retrospective information on employment histories and parenthood between age 20 and 50 (1482 men and 1537 women, born between 1925 and 1955). We apply sequence analysis and group trajectories into six clusters for each gender. We test their association with two alternative measures of depression: self-reported depressive symptoms and intake of antidepressant medication. Multivariate models exclude participants with early life depression and adjust for age, marital status, education, and income. Results: We find clear differences of work-family trajectories between men and women, where women's trajectories are generally more diverse, and include family leaves and returns into full or part-time work. For men, work-family trajectories are neither related to depressive symptoms nor to medication intake. In contrast, women who returned into full-time work after family leave show more depression than those who return part-time, both in terms of depressive symptoms and intake of antidepressant medication. Conclusion: Our findings show gender differences in terms of work-family trajectories and their health-related consequences. In particular, findings suggest that mothers who return to full-time work are a vulnerable group for depression at older age and should be the focus of further research attention.

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