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Gender, time use and health among the elderly in contemporary welfare states

Description

In almost all industrialised countries, women live longer than men, paradoxically, they report poorer health and more physical limitation. The most widely cited explanations for this health-survival paradox includes gender differences in biological traits and risks acquired through lifestyles and health behaviours.
Some studies also showed that inequalities in socio-economic position (SEP) contribute to differences in health between men and women. However, there is still no consensus about the best indicators of SEP to be used among the elderly. Reasons are that their applications are complex and interpretation may be problematic. Thus, there is a need to further explore the suitability of reliable social factors among older men and women. Additional indicators to SEP that requires further research among the elderly are social roles and activities such as housework, voluntary work, and leisure.
Research on explanations for gender differences in health has proliferated. However, time allocated to differing social roles and activities has yet to be examined as an explanation for the observed gender differences in health among the elderly. The “GenThealth Project” focuses on the question of how time use activities and other social factors impact the health among the elderly in contemporary welfare states. The researchers of the project also investigate the social factors that explain the gender and cross-national differences in health based on time use data from five welfare countries (Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States).

Funding period

Begin:   March 2016
End:   February 2019

Sponsor

  • BIPS funding

Contact

Dr. phil. Tilman Brand

Selected project-related publications

    Articles with peer-review

  • Adjei N, Brand T. Investigating the associations between productive housework activities, sleep hours and self-reported health among elderly men and women in western industrialised countries. BMC Public Health. 2018;18:110.
    http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-017-4979-z
  • Adjei N, Jonnson KR, Brand T. Time spent on work-related activities, social activities and time pressure as intermediary determinants of health disparities among elderly women and men in 5 European countries: A structural equation model. International Journal for Equity in Health. 2018;17:121.
    https://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12939-018-0840-y
  • Adjei N, Brand T, Zeeb H. Gender inequality in self-reported health among the elderly in contemporary welfare countries: A cross-country analysis of time use activities, socioeconomic positions and family characteristics. PLOS ONE. 2017;12(9):e0184676.
    http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0184676
  • Presentations at scientific meetings/conferences (invited)

  • Adjei N, Brand T, Zeeb H. Gender inequality in health among the elderly. Public Health Conference: "Key Issues in Current Health Research: Ageing - Health - Equity", 29-30 June 2017, Bremen.
  • Presentations at scientific meetings/conferences

  • Adjei N, Brand T, Zeeb H. Investigating socio-economic explanations for gender and cross-national inequalities in self-reported health among the elderly in contemporary welfare countries. International Population Conference (IPC), 29 October-4 November 2017, Cape Town, South Africa.