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Work-family life courses and metabolic markers in mid-life: Evidence from the British National Child Development Study

McMunn, A and Lacey, RE and Kumari, M and Worts, D and McDonough, P and Sacker, A (2016) 'Work-family life courses and metabolic markers in mid-life: Evidence from the British National Child Development Study.' Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 70 (5). 481 - 487. ISSN 0143-005X

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Abstract

Background Previous studies have found generally better health among those who combine employment and family responsibilities; however, most research excludes men, and relies on subjective measures of health and information on work and family activities from only 1 or 2 time points in the life course. This study investigated associations between work-family life course types (LCTs) and markers of metabolic risk in a British birth cohort study. Methods Multichannel sequence analysis was used to generate work-family LCTs, combining annual information on work, partnership and parenthood between 16 and 42 years for men and women in the British National Child Development Study (NCDS, followed since their birth in 1958). Associations between work-family LCTs and metabolic risk factors in mid-life (age 44-45) were tested using multivariate linear regression in multiply imputed data. Results Life courses characterised by earlier transitions into parenthood were associated with significantly increased metabolic risk, regardless of attachment to paid work or marital stability over the life course. These associations were only partially attenuated by educational qualifications, early life circumstances and adult mediators. The positive association between weak labour markets ties and metabolic risk was weaker than might be expected from previous studies. Associations between work-family LCTs and metabolic risk factors did not differ significantly by gender. Conclusions Earlier transitions to parenthood are linked to metabolic risk in mid-life.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Institute for Social and Economic Research
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2016 11:02
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2017 17:26
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/16900

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