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Open AccessArticle

Heterogeneous Trajectories of Physical and Mental Health in Late Middle Age: Importance of Life-Course Socioeconomic Positions

by Eunsun Kwon 1,* and Sojung Park 2
1
Center for Social Science, Seoul National University, 1 Gwanak-ro, Gwanak-gu, Seoul 08826, Korea
2
George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in One Brookings Drive, Saint Louis, MO 63105, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(6), 582; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14060582
Received: 31 March 2017 / Revised: 24 May 2017 / Accepted: 26 May 2017 / Published: 30 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aging and Health Promotion)
Drawing on life course and cumulative disadvantage theory, this study examines heterogeneous trajectories of functional limitations and depressive symptoms among late middle-aged individuals. This study used prospective data from 6010 adults, 51 to 64 years old, collected over a 12-year-period from the Health and Retirement Study. Considering the empirical proposition that several physical and mental trajectories may exist, Latent Class Growth Modeling was used. Five heterogeneous patterns of joint trajectories (Relatively healthy, Moderately improving, Steadily deteriorating, Steeply deteriorating, and Persistently high comorbid) were identified. Early life adversity was related to an increasing risk of declines in physical and mental health. The Persistently high comorbid class was characterized by a concentration of disadvantages over the life course. The development of public health interventions could help reduce co-existing physical and mental health problems, especially during late middle-age. View Full-Text
Keywords: cumulative disadvantage; life course; heterogeneous trajectories of physical and mental health; health disparities; late middle age cumulative disadvantage; life course; heterogeneous trajectories of physical and mental health; health disparities; late middle age
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Kwon, E.; Park, S. Heterogeneous Trajectories of Physical and Mental Health in Late Middle Age: Importance of Life-Course Socioeconomic Positions. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 582.

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