|Title||HRS Review: Psychosocial Variables|
|Year of Publication||2003|
|Institution||University of Wisconsin-Madison|
|Keywords||Family Roles/Relationships, Health Behavior, Job loss, Psychosocial|
Psychosocial factors were not prominent in the original conceptualization of the Health and Retirement Study (Juster & Suzman, 1995). Nonetheless, with the limited measures available, many HRS investigators have included psychological and social factors in their analyses. To anchor evaluation of this realm in substantive scientific agendas, I review a wide array of HRS publications that have, or could, profitably incorporate psychosocial factors. In all of these, it is fair to say there is need for improved assessment. The topical areas covered are organized as follows: (a) health behaviors, (b) socioeconomic factors, race/ethnicity, and health, (c) family roles/relationships and health, (d) planning for retirement and subjective probabilities, and (e) voluntary/involuntary job loss and their consequences. Within each, I describe how psychosocial variables were brought into the scientific agendas, or address how they might be utilized to advance substantive areas. My review also notes linkages with findings from MIDUS, another national survey of aging having notable depth in behavioral and psychosocial assessment (although limited coverage of economic factors).