English title: Economic Hardship and Depression across the Life Course: The Impact of Welfare State Regimes

Author(s): Katia Levecque - Ronan Van Rossem - Katrien De Boyser - Sarah Van de Velde - Piet Bracke -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2011


Previous research in the United States suggests that depression related to economic hardship decreases with age. We test whether this pattern can be generalized to other developed nations. Based on data from 23 countries in the European Social Survey (2006–2007), multilevel analyses show that the moderating role of age depends on the socio-political context. While the hardship–depression link is not significantly different across the life course in Nordic and Bismarckian regimes, the hardship–depression link increases with age in Southern and Eastern European countries and decreases with age in strength in Anglo-Saxon welfare states. Our findings suggest that welfare state regimes play a significant role in attenuating, boosting, or even reversing the health effects of social experiences such as economic hardship on aging. Health knowledge gained through research that ignores the socio-political context may be limited in terms of generalization.

Volume: 52

Issue: 2

From page no: 262

To page no: 276

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1177/0022146510394861

Journal: Journal of health and social behavior

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