New paper: “Caring trajectories and health in mid-life”

New paper: “Caring trajectories and health in mid-life”

CNSC Madelin Gómez-León researcher co-authored “Caring trajectories and health in mid-life” on Ageing & Society, an interdisciplinary and international journal devoted to advancing the understanding of ageing and the circumstances of older people in their socio-economic and cultural contexts.

Abstract paper

Previous research has found varied effects of informal care provision on the carer’s health status. Few studies have, however, examined this relationship dynamically. This paper is the first to analyse trajectories of care among men and women in mid-life and their impact on health outcomes using a nationally representative prospective cohort study. Data from three waves of the United Kingdom (UK) National Child Development Study (N = 7,465), when the respondents were aged 46, 50 and 55, are used to derive care trajectories capturing the dynamics of care provision and its intensity. Logistic regression investigates the impact of caring between the ages of 46 and 55 on the carers’ report of depression and poor health at age 55. At age 46, 9 per cent of men and 16 per cent of women provided some level of informal care; rising to 60 per cent for both genders at ages 50 and 55. Just 7 per cent of women and 4 per cent of men provided care at all observation points, with the most common trajectory being ‘starting to care’ at ages 50 or 55. New carers experienced a lower risk of depression at age 55, reflecting that they may not have experienced the caring role long enough to have an adverse impact on their wellbeing. The findings highlight that the majority of individuals with surviving parents experience caring at some point during mid-life, underlining the need for further longitudinal research to better understand the complex relationships between care-giving and health for different groups of cares.

Who to cite

Evandrou, M., Falkingham, J., Gómez-León, M., & Vlachantoni, A. (2022). Caring trajectories and health in mid-life. Ageing and Society, 1-20. doi:10.1017/S0144686X22000484