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Title: Life events and changes in health-related behaviours : an investigation using the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing
Author: La Valle, Maria Herica
ISNI:       0000 0004 9356 8462
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2019
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The thesis uses data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) to investigate the topic of health behaviours change as associated with life events, with a particular attention on their timing. By reviewing the extensive literature on the health of the elderly people, the health inequalities and the health behaviours according to a life course approach, three research questions are addressed. Is there any relationship between the occurrence of certain life events and the change(s) in health related behaviours? Is there any association between the age when experiencing certain life events and the change(s) in health-related behaviours? Are there any differences by gender? In particular, three studies, presented in three separated chapters, and focusing on different behaviours and events, are conducted in order to explore this fascinating area of research. Each analysis concerns a particular stage of life, i.e. adult age, mid-life and adult/old age. Chapter 3 deals with smoking cessation as associated with two events usually happening in early adulthood, i.e. the birth of the first child and the first marriage, by a gender perspective. It uses Life History Interview, which provides retrospective information on several life domains and, in particular, on when people started and stopped smoking. Chapter 4 focuses on women and on the menopause as related to changes in frequency level of alcohol intake and physical activity engagement. A multilevel longitudinal analysis employing four couples of ELSA waves is conducted in order to examine changes in behaviours as associated with menopausal process stages. Chapter 5 investigates the transition into retirement as associated with changes in smoking, drinking and physical activity, and use waves 4-8. Overall, results suggest that selected life events and, in particular, specific phases of the transition to the event, as well as the age at experiencing them may play a role in the context of behaviours change. Further research is needed to assess whether the association between changes in health behaviours and timing of life events is verified in other settings, for other behaviours, and by using other analytic approaches.
Supervisor: Channon, Andrew Amos Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available