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Work-family life courses and markers of stress and inflammation in mid-life: evidence from the National Child Development Study.

Lacey, Rebecca E and Sacker, Amanda and Kumari, Meena and Worts, Diana and McDonough, Peggy and Booker, Cara and McMunn, Anne (2016) 'Work-family life courses and markers of stress and inflammation in mid-life: evidence from the National Child Development Study.' International Journal of Epidemiology, 45 (4). 1247 - 1259. ISSN 0300-5771

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Background This study investigated associations between work-family life courses and biomarkers of inflammation and stress in mid-life among British men and women. Gender differences in these associations were also explored. Methods A novel statistical method-multi-channel sequence analysis-defined work-family life courses between the ages of 16 and 42 years, combining annual information on work, partnership and parenthood. Associations between work-family life courses and inflammation [C-reactive protein (CRP), fibrinogen and von Willebrand factor] and cortisol at age 44/45 years were tested using multivariate linear regression using multiply-imputed data on almost 6500 participants from the National Child Development Study 1958 British birth cohort. Results Compared with those who combined strong ties to paid work with later transitions to stable family lives ('Work, later family' group), 'Teen parents' had higher CRP [40.6% higher, 95% confidence interval (CI): 5.6, 87.0] and fibrinogen (7.8% higher, 95% CI: 2.3, 13.5) levels, and homemakers ('No paid work, early family') had raised fibrinogen levels (4.7% higher, 95% CI: 0.7, 9.0), independent of childhood health and socioeconomic position, adult socioeconomic position, health behaviours and body mass index (BMI). Those who combined later transitions to stable family ties with a career break for childrearing had higher post-waking cortisol than the 'Work, later family' group; however, no associations were seen for other work-family types, therefore suggesting a null finding with cortisol. No statistically significant gender interactions in associations between work-family types and inflammatory or cortisol outcomes were found. Conclusions Work-family life courses characterised by early parenthood or weak work ties were associated with a raised risk profile in relation to chronic inflammation.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Humans, Inflammation, Hydrocortisone, C-Reactive Protein, Fibrinogen, von Willebrand Factor, Multivariate Analysis, Linear Models, Risk Factors, Cohort Studies, Family Relations, Social Class, Adolescent, Adult, Middle Aged, Child, Female, Male, Young Adult, Biomarkers, United Kingdom, Work-Life Balance, Occupational Stress
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: 08 Dec 2016 11:11
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2021 16:15

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