How does the age of a child affect parental mortality?

Sven Drefahl, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

Previous research investigated several different aspects of the relationship between having a child and parental mortality. An aspect of research that was neglected until now is the age of the child. If children have an effect on parental mortality it is likely that it is changing as they grow up. A previous study found that all cause mortality is lowest for mothers who have a child that is younger than two years and increases with the age of the youngest child. The authors do not give any explanations for this effect and do not investigate whether the finding is influenced by other variables. I extend previous research by applying a longitudinal approach using Danish Register data and hazard regression models. In this framework it is possible to control for a variety of confounding factors such as marital status, education, and wealth. The analyses are carried out for men and for women separately.

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Presented in Poster Session 4: Health and ageing