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Subjective financial well-being, income and health inequalities in mid and later life in Britain

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  • Arber, Sara
  • Fenn, Kirsty
  • Meadows, Robert

Abstract

The relationship between health and income is well established, but the link between subjective financial well-being and self-reported health has been relatively ignored. This study investigates the relationship between income, subjective financial well-being and health in mid-life and later life in Britain. Analysis of the General Household Survey for 2006 examined these relationships at ages 45–64 (n = 4639) and 65 and over (n = 3104). Logistic regression analysis was used to adjust for income and other socio-economic factors associated with self-reported health. Both income and subjective financial well-being are independently associated with health in mid-life; those with lower incomes and greater subjective financial difficulties had higher risk of reporting ‘less than good’ health. In contrast in later life, subjective financial well-being was associated with health, but the effect of income on health was mediated entirely through subjective financial well-being. The poorer health of the divorced/separated was also entirely mediated by differences in subjective financial well-being. Research on health inequalities should pay greater attention to the link between subjective financial hardship and ill-health, especially during periods of greater economic difficulties and financial austerity.

Suggested Citation

  • Arber, Sara & Fenn, Kirsty & Meadows, Robert, 2014. "Subjective financial well-being, income and health inequalities in mid and later life in Britain," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 12-20.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:100:y:2014:i:c:p:12-20
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2013.10.016
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Yoko Mimura & Yi Cai & Holli Tonyan & Joan Koonce, 2019. "Resource Well-Being among Family Child Care Business Owners," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 40(3), pages 408-422, September.
    2. Gintare Mazeikaite & Cathal O’Donoghue & Denisa M. Sologon, 2019. "The Great Recession, financial strain and self-assessed health in Ireland," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 20(4), pages 579-596, June.
    3. Davillas, Apostolos & Benzeval, Michaela, 2016. "Alternative measures to BMI: Exploring income-related inequalities in adiposity in Great Britain," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 166(C), pages 223-232.
    4. Lee, Miaw-Chwen & Huang, Nicole, 2015. "Changes in self-perceived economic satisfaction and mortality at old ages: Evidence from a survey of middle-aged and elderly adults in Taiwan," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 1-8.
    5. Cifuentes, Myriam Patricia & Doogan, Nathan J. & Fernandez, Soledad A. & Seiber, Eric E., 2016. "Factors shaping Americans’ objective well-being: A systems science approach with network analysis," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 1018-1039.
    6. Enrico Ivaldi & Guido Bonatti & Riccardo Soliani, 2018. "Objective and Subjective Health: An Analysis of Inequality for the European Union," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 138(3), pages 1279-1295, August.
    7. Kautonen, Teemu & Kibler, Ewald & Minniti, Maria, 2017. "Late-career entrepreneurship, income and quality of life," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 318-333.
    8. Patel, Pankaj C. & Wolfe, Marcus T., 2019. "Money might not make you happy, but can happiness make you money? The value of leveraging subjective well-being to enhance financial well-being in self-employment," Journal of Business Venturing Insights, Elsevier, vol. 12(C).
    9. Clayton, Maya & Liñares-Zegarra, José & Wilson, John O.S., 2015. "Does debt affect health? Cross country evidence on the debt-health nexus," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 51-58.

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