Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


FAMHEALTH Report Summary

Project ID: 324055
Funded under: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Country: United Kingdom

Mid-Term Report Summary - FAMHEALTH (Family life courses, intergenerational exchanges and later life health)

The aim of this research programme is to uncover how family life courses influence health and well-being in later adulthood, whether family related strengths or disadvantages relevant to health offset or reinforce socio-economic sources of disadvantage, and the extent to which these associations are influenced by societal factors. A major strand of work is to investigate how parenthood and parenting histories are associated with later life health, and whether associations vary between European countries in ways which suggest policy and other contextual influences. Work achieved to date shows that some aspects of family building trajectories, particularly early age at entry into parenthood and short intervals between births seems to be associated with worse physical and mental health in later life. The strength of this association seems stronger in Western European than Eastern European countries, possibly because in the Soviet era, although conditions were harsher than in the West, housing, child care and other supports were allocated to families. Comparing parents with non-parents however, shows some advantages for parents, including in levels of cognitive function in later-life. We have also examined variations according to partnership and partnership history and found, for example, some evidence suggesting that unmarried people, particularly the never-married, underuse medication for heart disease and similar conditions which may be one factor contributing to their higher mortality from these conditions. In ongoing work we are examining how support from children influences the physical and mental health of older people throughout Europe.

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United Kingdom
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