The Life Course of Unemployment and Midlife Health

Adrianne Frech, Sarah Damaske, Adrienne Ohler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: We estimate associations between unemployment trajectories from ages 27-49 and physical and mental health at age 50. Methods: Data are from the U.S. National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1979 (N=6434). Group-based trajectory models are used to identify unemployment trajectories. Generalized linear models with a modified Bolck, Croon, and Hagenaars (BCH) correction are used to regress health on unemployment trajectory groups. Results: We identified “Consistently Low (70%),” “Decreasing Mid-Career (18%),” and “Persistently High (12%)” unemployment trajectories. Experiencing Decreasing Mid-Career or Persistently High trajectories was associated with worse physical and mental health at age 50 than Consistently Low trajectories. Experiencing a Persistently High trajectory was associated with worse physical and mental health than a Decreasing Mid-Career trajectory. Discussion: Timing and likelihood of unemployment are associated with midlife health. Mid-Career unemployment is associated with worse physical and mental health at age 50, but not to the same degree as Persistently High unemployment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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