Gender differences in trajectories of self-rated health in middle and old age

An examination of differential exposure and differential vulnerability

Leah S. Rohlfsen, Jennie Jacobs Kronenfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: This research examined gender differences in self-rated health (SRH) using the differential exposure and differential vulnerability explanations of gender differences in health. Method: Trajectories of SRH were estimated using data that spanned 12 years (1992-2004) from the Health and Retirement Study. Results: There was no gender difference in SRH at baseline, but SRH declined faster for males over time. Factors that mediated the gender difference included changes in employment status, smoking behavior, and the onset of health conditions. Moreover, were it not for gender differences in various structural and health status factors, females would have better SRH at baseline and over time. Discussion: Our results differ from previous research, which often shows a female disadvantage that is reduced or disappears at older ages. Furthermore, gender differences in the predictors of SRH (exposure) contribute more to understanding gender differences in SRH than different responses to the predictors (vulnerability).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)637-662
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
Volume26
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

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old age
gender-specific factors
vulnerability
examination
Health
health
Retirement
Research
retirement
Health Status
health status
smoking
Smoking

Keywords

  • differential exposure
  • differential vulnerability
  • gender differences
  • growth curve analysis
  • self-rated health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Gerontology
  • Community and Home Care

Cite this

Gender differences in trajectories of self-rated health in middle and old age : An examination of differential exposure and differential vulnerability. / Rohlfsen, Leah S.; Jacobs Kronenfeld, Jennie.

In: Journal of Aging and Health, Vol. 26, No. 4, 2014, p. 637-662.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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