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Title: Wellbeing change in response to work exit and lifecourse determinants of resilience in Europe
Author: Richardson, Sol
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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Abstract:
Background and aims: 'Resilience' is positive adaptive process in the context of exposure to a risk factor or event. Its opposing term is 'vulnerability'. Retirement, and exit from work in early old age in general, is an important age-graded transition and potential risk factor in terms of wellbeing and mental health. This transition, which varies substantially between individuals and different country contexts, is historically and socially embedded. Defining resilience in terms of wellbeing change following exit from paid work, this thesis aimed to examine its associations with individual-level variables at the time of work exit, country-level variables, and retrospective measures of adversity over the lifecourse. Data sources: Data from 10,195 respondents were drawn from Waves 1-5 (2004-2013) of the Study of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) and Waves 1-6 (2002-2013) of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) aged over 50 years who had two or more consecutive waves of observations and who had exited from work since the previous wave. Retrospective life history data were collected as part of ELSA Wave 3 (2006-2007). Methods: Using CASP-12 change scores between waves as the outcome measure, individual-level factors, including institutionally-defined route and timing of work exit, were tested for associations with wellbeing change (Chapter 3). Welfare state regime, social protection spending and other country-level factors were then investigated for direct associations with wellbeing change using multilevel random intercepts models. The percentage of total variance explained by country differences and the proportion of these country differences explained by groups of country-level variables was estimated (Chapter 4). Finally, lifecourse adversity measures, specifically exposure to adverse events at different ages and cumulative socioeconomic disadvantage, were considered as determinants of wellbeing and wellbeing change (Chapter 5). Results: Exit from work outside socially- and culturally-accepted norms is associated with a decline in wellbeing. When compared with on-time retirees, individuals leaving work over one year before or after their expected retirement age, or who exited work via receipt of unemployment, disability or sickness benefits, experienced more negative changes in wellbeing upon exiting paid work. Wellbeing change following work exit also differed significantly between countries. Although between-country differences accounted for only 7% of total variance, welfare state regime explained over 60% of the country effect. Expenditure on social protection, in particular on non-healthcare services, was associated with more positive wellbeing change following work exit. Exposure to adverse events over the lifecourse had an independent association with negative wellbeing change. This was driven by experiences in adulthood. Although lifecourse socioeconomic disadvantage was also associated with more negative wellbeing change, this was fully mediated by household income and wealth at the time of work exit. Finally, exposure to adverse events at all ages was independently and significantly associated with lower cross-sectional CASP-12 scores and higher odds of depression in old age. Conclusions: There were associations between both individual and country-level variables and resilience following work exit. Adverse events over the lifecourse predicted poor resilience, or vulnerability, during transitions from paid work in early old age.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.763204  DOI: Not available
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