Childbearing History and Self-Reported Well-Being in Later Life

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Sudha Shreeniwas, Associate Professor (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: The authors examined how numbers of live births and pregnancy losses affected the self-rated health and depressive symptoms of women aged 50 years and older, contrasting African Americans and Whites. The authors used data from Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities, a large, prospective study with substantial minority representation. They tested hypotheses that childbearing history variables would influence self-rated well-being among older women and that perceived social support would mediate the associations. The authors also tested whether these associations would be stronger among older African American versus White women. The results suggest that the impact of childbearing history is greater among older African American than White women. Pregnancy loss worsened depressive symptoms and self-rated health among African American women; the effect was reduced by social-support variables. High parity was associated with worse self-rated health among African American women, mediated by social support. Having no live births was not associated with diminished well-being among older women of any race.

Additional Information

Publication
Language: English
Date: 2006
Keywords
race, ethnicity, older women, self-reported health, depressive symptoms, childbearing history

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