Women, work, and illness: a longitudinal analysis of workforce participation patterns for women beyond middle age

Majeed, Tazeen, Forder, Peta, Mishra, Gita and Byles, Julie (2015) Women, work, and illness: a longitudinal analysis of workforce participation patterns for women beyond middle age. Journal of Women's Health, 24 6: 455-465. doi:10.1089/jwh.2014.5009


Author Majeed, Tazeen
Forder, Peta
Mishra, Gita
Byles, Julie
Title Women, work, and illness: a longitudinal analysis of workforce participation patterns for women beyond middle age
Journal name Journal of Women's Health   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1931-843X
1540-9996
Publication date 2015-06-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1089/jwh.2014.5009
Open Access Status
Volume 24
Issue 6
Start page 455
End page 465
Total pages 11
Place of publication New Rochelle, NY United States
Publisher Mary Ann Liebert Inc Publishers
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: Labor policies and economic incentives encourage women to work beyond middle age. However, women exhibit complex patterns of workforce participation over this life stage. This study examined transitions in and out of paid work across the life course of middle-aged women over a 14-year period and investigated associations between work and chronic diseases.

Methods: Latent class analysis identified dominant workforce participation patterns among 11,551 middle-aged women from the 1946–1951 birth cohort of Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health. Multinomial logistic regression examined associations between work patterns and chronic diseases (diabetes, asthma, depression, and arthritis), while adjusting for health risk factors, sociodemographic factors and competing activities.

Results: Five latent classes were identified: “mostly in paid work” (48%), “early paid work” (9.4%), “increasingly paid work” (8.9%), “gradually not in paid work” (11.4%), and “mostly not in paid work” (22.3%). Results showed that women with chronic diseases (diabetes, asthma, depression, and arthritis) were less likely to be in paid work. These associations remained mostly unchanged after adjustments for other factors.

Conclusions: The findings of this study provide better understanding of workforce participation patterns in women's late working life. This has important implications for policy design, aimed to engage middle-aged women in paid employment for longer in spite of chronic diseases and their complications. We suggest that there is a need for work place programs that support people with chronic diseases. Policies are also needed to facilitate better prevention and management of chronic health issues over the life course for women, in order to encourage workforce participation over later years.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Public Health Publications
 
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