Parenthood, Marital Status, and Well-Being in Later Life: Evidence from SHARE
Using pooled cross-sectional data from the first two waves of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe, we address the question of whether and how parenthood and marital status are associated with various dimensions of elders’ well-being, which we define by elements of the individual’s economic situation, psychological well-being, and social connectedness. The results of our multivariate analysis suggest that childless individuals do not generally fare worse than parents in terms of their economic, psychological, or social well-being. Although there is some indication for a ‘protective effect’ of marriage, having a partner does not per se contribute to greater psychological well-being: only those reporting satisfaction with the extent of reciprocity in their relationship report lower numbers of depression symptoms than their unmarried counterparts. We observe no systematic associations between parenthood (marriage, respectively) and individuals’ propensity to participate in social activities. These findings are fairly stable, that is, they hold for both men and women as well as across various cohorts, and they do not vary systematically between countries. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013
Volume (Year): 114 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 (November)
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