Modeling aging processes: Social activities, partner influence, and individual well-being

TitleModeling aging processes: Social activities, partner influence, and individual well-being
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsHao, Y
Number of PagesPh.D.
Date Published2008
UniversityThe University of Chicago
CityUnited States -- Illinois
Thesis Type3322590
KeywordsHealthcare, Methodology
Abstract

The past decade has witnessed a growing interest in longitudinal studies of aging. The perspective of cumulative advantage/adversity was employed to explain health disparities in later life. In terms of methodology, recent advances in the statistical theory of growth curve models have enabled important breakthroughs in the study of correlates of change. Moreover, moving beyond single-trajectory growth curve analysis, a combination of the longitudinal model for individual change and the cross-sectional model for matched pairs makes it possible to estimate dual aging trajectories of marital dyads. Hence, this dissertation focuses on effects from social activities and partner influences that affect aging. Using the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and the Asset and Health Dynamics among the Oldest Old (AHEAD) data, I conduct three studies in this dissertation. In first two studies, I perform growth curve analyses to examine how activities such as volunteering, helping and late-life employment influence aging trajectories for mid-old aged and older adults. In the third study, I extend growth curve models into family and marriage research to estimate dual aging trajectories for marital dyads and to examine cross-partner interactive processes. The results suggest that social activity and marital context do influence aging processes after midlife. Findings also confirm the existence of selection mechanisms that may drive healthy individuals into activity and similar individuals into a marital relationship. In total, causal relations between activities and partner influence and the effects on later aging trajectories are established. Moreover, these studies predict that, to the extent that the changes accumulate, the above mechanisms will keep shaping older adults' health trajectories over time. This suggests a mutually reinforcing cumulative process of selection and causal mechanisms.

URLhttp://proquest.umi.com.proxy.lib.umich.edu/pqdweb?did=1581536411&Fmt=7&clientId=17822&RQT=309&VName=PQD
Endnote Keywords

Sociology

Endnote ID

20070

Short TitleModeling aging processes: Social activities, partner influence, and individual well-being
Citation Key6328