Norwegian Social Research NOVA

Oslo, Norway

Norwegian Social Research NOVA

Oslo, Norway
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Kok A.A.L.,VU University Amsterdam | Aartsen M.J.,Norwegian Social Research NOVA | Deeg D.J.H.,VU University Amsterdam | Huisman M.,VU University Amsterdam
Journals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences | Year: 2017

Objectives: Building on social stress theory, this study has 2 aims. First, we aim to estimate the effects of stressful life events in childhood and adulthood on Successful Aging (SA). Second, we examine how unequal exposure to such life events between individuals with different socioeconomic position (SEP) contributes to socioeconomic inequalities in SA. Method: We used 16-year longitudinal data from 2,185 respondents aged 55-85 years in 1992 in the Dutch nationally representative Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam. Measurement of SA was based on earlier work, in which we integrated trajectories in 9 indicators of functioning into an index of SA. Using path analysis, we investigated direct and indirect effects of parental and adulthood SEP as well as of self-reported childhood and adulthood life events on SA. Results: Almost all included life events had negative direct effects on SA. Parental SEP had no direct effect on SA, whereas adulthood SEP had. Higher Parental SEP increased the likelihood of parental problems and parental death in childhood, resulting in negative indirect effects on SA. Higher adulthood SEP had both positive and negative indirect effects on SA, through increasing the likelihood of divorce and unemployment, but decreasing the likelihood of occupational disability. Discussion: SEP and particular stressful life events are largely, but not entirely independent predictors of SA. We found that high and low SEP may increase exposure to particular events that negatively affect SA. Findings suggest that low (childhood) SEP and stressful life events are interrelated factors that may limit individual opportunities to age successfully. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved.

Abebe D.S.,Norwegian Social Research NOVA | Abebe D.S.,Norwegian Institute of Public Health | Lien L.,University of Oslo | Von Soest T.,Norwegian Social Research NOVA | Von Soest T.,Norwegian Institute of Public Health
International Journal of Eating Disorders | Year: 2012

Objective: To investigate age-related trends in bulimic symptoms and associated putative risk factors among Norwegian youth. Method: A sample of 3,150 participants, 1,421 (45.1%) males and 1,759 (54.9%) females, was prospectively followed for 11 years at three time points from adolescence to adulthood. Linear random coefficient models were applied. Results: For females, bulimic symptoms increased from age 14 to 16 and declined slowly thereafter. For males, the symptoms decreased between ages 14 and 16 and returned in the early 20s. Females had higher levels of symptoms than males at every age. Age-associated trends in body mass index, appearance satisfaction, and symptoms of anxiety and depression were associated with some of the trends for both genders. For females, changes in alcohol consumption and cohabitation status functioned as predictors as well. Discussion: Males and females show distinct developmental trajectories of bulimic symptoms during adolescence and in the transition to adulthood. Prevention interventions should focus on putative risk factors in mid-adolescence for females and in the early 20s for males. © 2011 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Elstad J.I.,Norwegian Social Research NOVA | Elstad J.I.,University of Oslo
International Journal for Equity in Health | Year: 2011

Background: Studies from various countries have observed worse population health in geographical areas with more income inequality. The psychosocial interpretation of this association is that large income disparities are harmful to health because they generate relative deprivation and undermine social cohesion. An alternative explanation contends that the association between income inequality and ill health arises because the underlying social and economic structures will influence both the level of illness and disease and the size of income differences. This paper examines whether the observed association between mortality and income inequality in Norwegian regions can be accounted for by the socioeconomic characteristics of the regions. Methods. Norwegian register data covering the entire population were utilised. An extensive set of contextual and individual predictors were included in multilevel Poisson regression analyses of mortality 1994-2003 among 1.6 millions individuals born 1929-63, distributed across 35 residential regions. Results: Mean income, composition of economic branches, and percentage highly educated in the regions were clearly connected to the level of income inequality. These social and economic characteristics of the regions were also markedly related to regional mortality levels, after adjustment for population composition, i.e., the individual-level variables. Moreover, regional mortality was significantly higher in regions with larger income disparities. The regions' social and economic structure did not, however, account for the association between regional income inequality and mortality. A distinct independent effect of income inequality on mortality remained after adjustment for regional-level social and economic characteristics. Conclusions: The results indicate that the broader socioeconomic context in Norwegian regions has a substantial impact both on mortality and on the level of income disparities. However, the results also suggest, in a way compatible with the psychosocial interpretation, that on top of the general socioeconomic influences, a higher level of income inequality adds independently to higher mortality levels. © 2011 Elstad; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Von Soest T.,Norwegian Social Research NOVA | Von Soest T.,Norwegian Institute of Public Health | Kvalem I.L.,Norwegian Social Research NOVA | Kvalem I.L.,University of Oslo | And 2 more authors.
Psychological Medicine | Year: 2012

Background There is limited information about psychological predictors of cosmetic surgery and how cosmetic surgery influences subsequent changes in mental health and overall appearance satisfaction. To date, there is a lack of studies examining this issue, whereby representative population samples are assessed at an age before cosmetic surgery is typically conducted and followed up after such surgery has commonly been performed.Method We obtained data from a survey study following 1597 adolescent females from a representative Norwegian sample over a 13-year period. Participants provided information on cosmetic surgery, appearance satisfaction, mental health, risky sexual behavior, drug use and conduct problems at two time-points (overall response rate 67%).Results Of all participants, 78 (4.9%) reported having undergone cosmetic surgery, of whom 71 were operated on during the course of the study and seven before the first data collection. Symptoms of depression and anxiety [odds ratio (OR) 1.66, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.07-2.57] and a history of deliberate self-harm (OR 2.88, 95% CI 1.46-5.68), parasuicide (OR 3.29, 95% CI 1.53-7.08) and illicit drug use (OR 2.46, 95% CI 1.07-5.82) predicted prospective cosmetic surgery. Moreover, those who underwent surgery during the course of the study experienced a greater increase than other females in symptoms of depression and anxiety (t=2.07, p=0.04) and eating problems (t=2.71, p<0.01). Patients' use of alcohol also increased more than among non-patients (t=2.47, p=0.01).Conclusions A series of mental health symptoms predict cosmetic surgery. Cosmetic surgery does not in turn seem to alleviate such mental health problems. © Cambridge University Press 2011.

Hagestad G.O.,Norwegian Social Research NOVA | Settersten R.A.,Oregon State University
The Gerontologist | Year: 2017

We start with the observation that aging gerontologists often engage in two distinct discourses on aging-one public and one private. This separation entails "othering," which reproduces agism and stigma. Based on personal experience, insight from colleagues and writers, and concepts from symbolic interaction perspectives, we argue that becoming old to some degree involves becoming a stranger. Before reaching old age, both of us have been in the position of strangers due to social experiences that left us "off the line" or "on the margins." Examples are crossing social borders related to nations, class structures, gender, race, health status, and generations. Our stories illustrate how aging is more than personal. It is interpersonal-shaped by social history, policies, interdependence in relationships, and the precariousness of old age. Such phenomena often show sharp contrasts in the interpersonal worlds and social experiences of women and men. Reflecting on our own journeys as life course migrants leaves us acutely aware of both the social problems and potential promises of aging. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:

Hyggen C.,Norwegian Social Research NOVA
Addiction | Year: 2012

Aims This study aimed to examine the associations between cannabis use and work commitment Design We used a 25-year panel survey initiated in 1985 with follow-ups in 1987, 1989, 1993, 2003 and 2010. Registered data from a range of public registers were matched with individual responses for the entire period. Setting The panel survey was a nation-wide study set in Norway. Participants A total of 1997 respondents born between 1965 and 1968 were included in the panel. Measurements Work involvement scale (WIS) was used to assess work commitment. Involvement with cannabis was based on self-reported smoking of cannabis within the last 12 months and exposure to cannabis through friends. This information was categorized into 'abstaining', 'exposed', 'experimented' and 'involved'. Control measures included socio-economic background, mental health (HSCL-10), education, work satisfaction, unemployment, receipt of social assistance, consumption of alcohol, alcohol-related problems and use of other illicit drugs. Findings The level of work commitment was associated with involvement with cannabis. In 1993, when the respondents were in their mid-20s, those who were involved or had experimented with cannabis displayed lower levels of work commitment than those who were abstaining or merely exposed to cannabis through friends (P<0.05). Work commitment among those who experimented with cannabis converged towards the levels reported by abstainers and the exposed as they grew older, whereas those involved reported decreasing work commitment into adulthood (P<0.001). Using linear regression models for panel data, an association with continued use of cannabis across the life-course and a lowering of work commitment was established. Results remained significant even when controlling for a range of other factors known to be related to work commitment, such as socio-economic background, education, labour market experiences, mental health and family characteristics (P<0.05). Conclusions In Norway the use of cannabis is associated with a reduction in work commitment among adults. © 2012 Society for the Study of Addiction.

Hansen T.,Norwegian Social Research NOVA | Slagsvold B.,Norwegian Social Research NOVA
European Journal of Ageing | Year: 2015

Does employment provide respite or add stress to caregivers? As a result of population aging and increasing female employment rates, growing numbers are facing the competing demands of paid work and caregiving. This study explores the effect of providing regular personal care by employment status on six dimensions of psychological well-being. We concentrate on partner and parent care recipients and differentiate between in-household and out-of-household caregiving. We use cross-sectional data from the Norwegian Life Course, Ageing and Generation study (n = 11,047, age 25–64). Results indicate that out-of-household caregiving has no significant relationship with men or women’s well-being, irrespective of employment status. In-household caregiving, however, relates to lower psychological well-being, but only among women who do not work full-time. The advantages of full-time employment to caregivers may be due to greater opportunity to achieve the full benefits that this role has to offer. There is little to suggest that combining work and caregiving harms well-being. In fact, a “double burden” seems to be experienced by women who combine extensive caregiving with limited employment. © 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

The internet has democratised access to health and diagnostic information, enabling patients to mobilise social support from peers and advocate their interests in encounters with medical personnel. Research has shown that these possibilities are particularly important for patients and caregivers confronting a rare medical condition. However, little research has focused on how the act of searching for and accumulating information via the internet can be important for coping emotionally with a situation characterised by uncertain prospects and inadequate information from health personnel. This paper explores the experiences of 10 Norwegian parents whose children have different rare genetic disorders and who used the internet as a resource. The analysis draws on the theoretical framework of the medical sociologist Aaron Antonovsky, who emphasises people's inherent ability to manage extremely stressful life experiences. Analysing the process of adjusting to and coping with life parenting a child suffering from a rare genetic disorder, this study shows that becoming knowledgeable about a child's condition is essential for gradually comprehending and managing a situation that initially seems unmanageable and distressful. It also suggests that as parents adjust, so do the frequency and purpose of their internet searches. © 2010 The Author. Sociology of Health & Illness © 2010 Foundation for the Sociology of Health & Illness/Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Finseraas H.,Norwegian Social Research NOVA
Journal of European Social Policy | Year: 2012

In what social contexts are rich people more likely to support government redistribution of income? Motivated by the literature on inequality aversion and the literature on the relationship between ethnic fractionalization and redistribution, the paper examines whether the relationship between own income and redistributive preferences depends on the regional level of poverty and the ethnic composition of the poor. Using data from the European Social Survey, the paper demonstrates that support for redistribution among the rich is lower when the proportion of ethnic minorities among the poor is high. Several possible mechanisms to account for this relationship are examined. The paper finds no support for explanations based on more animosity towards the poor or towards ethnic minorities and no support for explanations based on lower social trust or social capital: instead, rich people are less concerned with downward income mobility when the proportion of minorities among the poor is high. © The Author(s) 2012.

Kok A.A.L.,VU University Amsterdam | Aartsen M.J.,Norwegian Social Research NOVA | Deeg D.J.H.,VU University Amsterdam | Huisman M.,VU University Amsterdam
Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health | Year: 2016

Background This study examines to what extent education, occupation and income are associated with the multidimensional process of successful ageing, encompassing trajectories of physical, mental and social functioning in old age. Methods We employed 16-year longitudinal data from 2095 participants aged 55-85 years at baseline in the Dutch, nationally representative Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam. For 9 indicators of successful ageing, separate Latent Class Growth models were used to identify subgroups of older adults with a 'successful' trajectory. A 'Successful Aging Index' expressed the number of indicators for which individual respondents had a successful trajectory (range 0-9). Using multivariate regression models, we investigated associations between socioeconomic position and the Successful Ageing Index, and with separate indicators of successful ageing. Results Higher education, occupational skill level and income were independently associated with higher numbers of successful trajectories. Education (ß=0.09) was a slightly stronger correlate of successful ageing than income (ß=0.08). Analyses of separate indicators of successful ageing showed that cognitive functioning, functional limitations and emotional support given were associated with all three components of socioeconomic position, while other indicators were associated with only one (eg, life satisfaction) or none (eg, social loneliness). For some indicators of successful ageing, socioeconomic inequalities were present at baseline, and also increased or decreased during follow-up. Conclusions Education, occupation and income represent distinct socioeconomic life course factors, each of which contribute in a specific way to inequalities in successful ageing. Physical and cognitive functioning were associated more strongly with socioeconomic position than social and emotional functioning. © 2016 by the BMJ Publishing Group Ltd.

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