The project identifies and analyses indicators of quality of life among the population aged 65+ to reveal gender gaps and their factors. It focuses on changes due to renewal of cohorts. Consideration is taken of cohorts now old (broken into age groups, given the heterogeneity of conditions at older ages) and of those who will reach old age in the next 25 years (considering the situation of persons aged 40+ in 2005), for a prognosis of trends in gender differentials and an evaluation of actions likely to reduce these gaps. Quality of life is measured on health conditions, economic resources, family situation and social integration.
On each, objective indicators of living conditions are confronted with perceptions by the persons of their own situation. It is argued that the main factors of gender gaps in well being are to be found in the life course of individuals - in particular in the way they conciliated their professional career with their family life - and in the way they have experienced some more recent key events like retirement, widowhood, health deterioration or institutionalisation.
Statistical analysis of individual-level data, based on event-history methods, is to show the impact of these factors. It is also argued that gender gaps in quality of life are shaped by the socio cultural context (welfare regimes, economic circumstances, normative climate). National and EU policies play here a major role. Cross-national multilevel analysis is to evidence these mechanisms. Use is made of existing data, in particular comparative surveys recently conducted in Europe giving simultaneously indications on the well being of interviewees and their life course. Contextual information is collected for cross-country analysis.
A consortium of 9 teams carries out the project, all presently active in FELICIE, a FP5 research project. A large range of competencies is covered in social and medical sciences as well as a diversity of countries in the European space.
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