Dynamics of functional impairment in late adulthood

George L. Maddox, Daniel Clark, Karen Steinhauser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The inconclusive debate about Fries' theory of "natural death and the compression of morbidity" has diverted attention from two keys issues-the modifiability and related dynamics of functional impairment in late adulthood. Evidence is presented from a large (N = 11,000) panel of adults aged initially 58-63 over the period of a decade which documents substantial modification of functional status. Further, patterned changes in functional status are related to the dynamics of income, historically a major determinant of functional status, and independently to educational attainment. The dynamics of functional status, of income, and of their relationship are explored using discrete time hazard models in an event history analysis incorporating time-varying income and functional status indicators. The importance of income and of education as positive, independent predictors of functional status and patterned changes of functional status is confirmed. The implications of this finding for differentiating distal (e.g. education) and proximate (e.g. income) measures of socioeconomic status and for assessing competing theories of social causation and social selection are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)925-936
Number of pages12
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Volume38
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

adulthood
income
education
Education
educational attainment
socioeconomic status
Life Change Events
morbidity
Proportional Hazards Models
Social Class
Causality
social status
compression
Adulthood
Income
Impairment
Functional status
hazard
determinants
Morbidity

Keywords

  • dynamics of change
  • functional status
  • late life
  • SES

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Social Psychology
  • Development
  • Health(social science)

Cite this

Dynamics of functional impairment in late adulthood. / Maddox, George L.; Clark, Daniel; Steinhauser, Karen.

In: Social Science and Medicine, Vol. 38, No. 7, 1994, p. 925-936.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Maddox, George L. ; Clark, Daniel ; Steinhauser, Karen. / Dynamics of functional impairment in late adulthood. In: Social Science and Medicine. 1994 ; Vol. 38, No. 7. pp. 925-936.
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