Is being childless detrimental to a woman's health and well-being across her life course?

Graham, Melissa 2015, Is being childless detrimental to a woman's health and well-being across her life course?, Womens health issues, vol. 25, no. 2, March-April, pp. 176-184, doi: 10.1016/j.whi.2014.12.002.

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Title Is being childless detrimental to a woman's health and well-being across her life course?
Author(s) Graham, MelissaORCID iD for Graham, Melissa
Journal name Womens health issues
Volume number 25
Issue number 2
Season March-April
Start page 176
End page 184
Total pages 9
Publisher Elsevier
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2015-03
ISSN 1878-4321
Keyword(s) Science & Technology
Social Sciences
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Public, Environmental & Occupational Health
Women's Studies
Summary BACKGROUND: Childlessness is a growing phenomenon. Previous research examining health and well-being differentials between women with and without children has produced conflicting results. Most of this research has been conducted in the United States or parts of Europe. There has been limited research in Australia that has examined the health and well-being of women with and without children across the life course. The aim of the current study was to examine the association between motherhood status and general physical and mental health and well-being over a 10-year time period. METHODS: Using 10 waves of data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia study, longitudinal linear mixed models with time varying variables (both dependent and independent) were constructed to assess the effect of childlessness on health and well-being based on the Short Form-36 Health Survey Version 1 (n=52,381 observations). FINDINGS: Findings suggest that childless women experience poorer physical and mental health and well-being during the peak reproductive years; however, this trend is reversed for women aged 65 years or more. Although never-married, childless women experienced better health and well-being compared with mothers, this was not the case for childless women who were divorced, separated, or widowed or in a relationship. CONCLUSION: The findings support the notion that whether or not a woman has children does have consequences for her health and well-being; however, this differs across the life course.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.whi.2014.12.002
Field of Research 111706 Epidemiology
111404 Reproduction
1114 Paediatrics And Reproductive Medicine
1117 Public Health And Health Services
Socio Economic Objective 920507 Women's Health
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, Elsevier
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Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Health and Social Development
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