Our PhD student Sonja Scheuring presented her current work on “Der Einfluss von frühen Arbeits-Familien-Lebensverläufen auf den Gesundheits-zustand und Depression im späteren Leben in Westdeutschland und Italien: Eine Sequenzdatenanalyse”. The paper is the result of a collaboration and her work at the Institute for Family Research at the University of Bamberg (ifb), where she worked together with Henriette Engelhardt.
This paper examines whether gendered insecure work-family trajectories increase the likelihood of poor health and depression in older age in West Germany and Italy. We contribute to the work, family, and health literature by incorporating and combining different aspects of life course research, such as cumulative disadvantages and spillover effects. The findings show the strongest health effect for Italian women on insecure work-family trajectories (13 percentage points higher likelihood to have a poor health status compared to Italian women on the most secure work-family trajectory). For West Germany, the paper observes such effects in smaller magnitude and statistical relevance for men only. The paper finds that work-family insecurity increases the likelihood to be depressed rather for West German men and Italian women. The strongest effect occurs for Italian women (11 percentage points higher likelihood to be depressed compared to women on the most secure work trajectory). These findings hint for a greater vulnerability of disadvantaged women in family and work life for self-rated and mental health in Italy than in West Germany due to differences in the social security systems and emphasize the often-assumed vulnerability regarding consequences of poverty among women in old age.
We are very happy that we could be part of this conference with our colleagues from across Germany including Anette Fasang, Johannes Giesecke, Katja Möhring, Philipp Lersch and others and we are thankful for the very inspiring atmosphere.