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Appears in Collections:Economics Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Lifetime Childlessness, Depressive Mood and Quality of Life Among Older Europeans
Author(s): Gibney, Sarah
Delaney, Liam
Codd, Mary
Fahey, Tony
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Keywords: Well-being
Issue Date: Jan-2017
Citation: Gibney S, Delaney L, Codd M & Fahey T (2017) Lifetime Childlessness, Depressive Mood and Quality of Life Among Older Europeans, Social Indicators Research, 130 (1), pp. 305-323.
Abstract: Lifetime childlessness has increased in Europe. The relationship between childlessness and psychological wellbeing varies by the wellbeing measures employed, life stage and societal context. Health-related predictors of childlessness (health selection) may mediate the relationship between childlessness and wellbeing and/or influence wellbeing directly. This paper examines the relationship between lifetime childlessness, depressive mood and quality of life in early old age using data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) (N=21,295). Region-specific Ordinary Least Squares Analysis is performed to investigate this relationship and the mediating roles of health selection and marital status are explored. No main effect of childlessness is observed in any of the regions net of socio-demographic, economic and health factors. The significant role of health selection in this relationship is only evident in Eastern Europe. The findings of this study support a more in-depth analysis of the role of marital status in mediating the relationship between childlessness and psychological wellbeing. Consistent relationships between marital status and both measures of wellbeing support further analysis of marital selection in this regard.
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