Presentation of SECCOPA collaboration work with the Institute for Family Research (ifb) at the ESA Conference 2021

31 August to 03 September

Our PhD student Sonja Scheuring presented her collaboration SECCOPA work on “The Effect of Early and Mid-life Work-family Trajectories on Self-rated Health and Depression in Older Age in West Germany and Italy: A Multichannel Sequence Analysis” at the 15th ESA (European Sociological Association) conference 2021 in the session Health Inequalities: IV: Health Status. 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 a poor health status and depression in older age in West Germany and Italy. They use data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE, waves 3 and 7 of the retrospective SHARELIFE survey) to analyze in a first step gendered 20 years work-family trajectories after school-to-work transitions for West Germany and Italy by utilizing multichannel sequence analysis. In a second step, they estimate the effect of these trajectories, which differ in their degree of insecurity, on the likelihood to report poor health and depression for persons aged 50+ by using binary logistic regression analyses. The findings show the strongest health effect for Italian women on insecure work-family trajectories (13 percentage points higher likelihood to report a poor health status compared to the least insecure work-family trajectory). Work-family insecurity increases the likelihood to be depressed for West German men and Italian women. The strongest effect occurs for Italian women (11 percentage points higher likelihood to be depressed compared to the least insecure work trajectory). These findings hint for a greater vulnerability of disadvantaged women in both family and work life for self-rated and mental health in Italy than in West Germany and emphasize the often-assumed vulnerability regarding consequences of poverty among women in old age.


Our special thanks go out to the organizers of the ESA 2021, who prepared the virtual conference to be in such a vibrant and inspiring atmosphere. We also want to express our gratitude to the session chair Francesca Sirna as well as the discussants and participants of our talk.

Back to previous page