The relationship between financial distress and life-course socioeconomic inequalities in well-being: cross-national analysis of European Welfare States

Niedzwiedz, C. L. , Pell, J. P. and Mitchell, R. (2015) The relationship between financial distress and life-course socioeconomic inequalities in well-being: cross-national analysis of European Welfare States. American Journal of Public Health, 105(10), pp. 2090-2098. (doi:10.2105/ajph.2015.302722) (PMID:26270289)

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Abstract

Objectives. We investigated to what extent current financial distress explains the relationship between life-course socioeconomic position and well-being in Southern, Scandinavian, Postcommunist, and Bismarckian welfare regimes. Methods. We analyzed individuals (n = 18 324) aged 50 to 75 years in the Survey of Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe, 2006–2009. Well-being was measured with CASP-12 (which stands for control, autonomy, self-realization, and pleasure) and life satisfaction. We generated a life-course socioeconomic index from 8 variables and calculated multilevel regression models (containing individuals nested within 13 countries), as well as stratified single-level models by welfare regime. Results. Life-course socioeconomic advantage was related to higher well-being; the difference in life satisfaction between the most and least advantaged was 2.09 (95% confidence interval = 1.87, 2.31) among women and 1.65 (95% confidence interval = 1.43, 1.87) among men. The weakest associations were found among Scandinavian countries. Financial distress was associated with lower well-being and attenuated the relationship between life-course socioeconomic position and well-being in all regimes (ranging from 34.26% in Postcommunist to 72.22% in Scandinavian countries). Conclusions. We found narrower inequalities in well-being in the Scandinavian regime. Reducing financial distress may help improve well-being and reduce inequalities.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mitchell, Professor Richard and Pell, Professor Jill and Niedzwiedz, Dr Claire
Authors: Niedzwiedz, C. L., Pell, J. P., and Mitchell, R.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Public Health
Journal Name:American Journal of Public Health
Publisher:American Public Health Association
ISSN:0090-0036
ISSN (Online):1541-0048

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