Is the association between long-term care and subjective well-being socio-economically stratified? Evidence from Europe

Ginevra Floridi, Ludovico Carrino, Karen Glaser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Informal and formal care receipt can affect the overall subjective well-being of care recipients. While much attention has been devoted to the mechanisms by which care use relates to subsequent well-being, no previous research has examined socio-economic stratification in this association. This question is important given that the proportion of disabled older adults relying exclusively on informal caregivers is expected to rise, especially among lower socio-economic status (SES) groups. This study examines SES gradients in the associations of informal and formal care use with subjective well-being, and across four care contexts (Northern, Western, Southern and Eastern Europe) using data on functionally impaired Europeans aged 50+ from the Survey of Health, Ageing & Retirement in Europe (n = 6,012). We investigate how wealth and education moderate the associations between take-up of informal and formal care and changes in subjective well-being (i.e., quality of life and depressive symptoms). We also investigate whether this relationship differs by care context. We find little evidence of SES differences in the association between the onset of care and subjective well-being regardless of the care context. We interpret our findings in light of previous theory and derive implications for future research on the relationship between care receipt and well-being.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-36
Number of pages36
JournalEuropean Societies
Early online date29 Mar 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Mar 2024

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • informal care
  • formal care
  • inequality
  • quality of life
  • depressive symptoms
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