Never-married childless women in Australia: Health and social circumstances in older age

Cwikel, J, Grarnotnev, H and Lee, C (2006) Never-married childless women in Australia: Health and social circumstances in older age. Social Science & Medicine, 62 8: 1991-2001. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2005.09.006

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Author Cwikel, J
Grarnotnev, H
Lee, C
Title Never-married childless women in Australia: Health and social circumstances in older age
Journal name Social Science & Medicine   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0277-9536
Publication date 2006-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.socscimed.2005.09.006
Volume 62
Issue 8
Start page 1991
End page 2001
Total pages 11
Editor E. Annandale
Place of publication Oxford
Publisher Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd
Language eng
Subject C1
380107 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
730201 Women's health
Abstract A growing proportion of women reach older age without having married or having children. Assumptions that these older women are lonely, impoverished, and high users of social and health services are based on little evidence. This paper uses data from the Older cohort of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health to describe self-reported demographics, physical and emotional health, and use of services among 10,108 women aged 73-78, of whom 2.7% are never-married and childless. The most striking characteristic of this group is their high levels of education, which are associated with fewer reported financial difficulties and higher rates of private health insurance. There are few differences in self-reported physical or emotional health or use of health services between these and other groups of older women. Compared with older married women with children, they make higher use of formal services such as home maintenance and meal services, and are also more likely to provide volunteer services and belong to social groups. Overall, there is no evidence to suggest that these women are a problem group. Rather, it seems that their life experiences and opportunities prepare them for a successful and productive older age. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keyword Women
Public, Environmental & Occupational Health
Social Sciences, Biomedical
Living Arrangements
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 18:57:49 EST