Paradigms of retirement: the importance of health and ageing in the whitehall II study

Mein, G., Higgs, P., Ferrie, J. and Stansfeld, S.A. (1998) Paradigms of retirement: the importance of health and ageing in the whitehall II study. Social Science & Medicine, 47(4), pp. 535-545. ISSN (print) 0277-9536

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This paper evaluates four well established sociological theories of ageing using qualitative data from the British Whitehall II study. We attempt to apply the theories to contemporary retirement and through each theory examine the issue of health in retirement. The effect of lowered income in retirement is discussed in relation to Townsend's theory of structured dependency. Change in participant's health following retirement is examined in respect of the theory of disengagement by Cumming and Henry, adjustment to retirement in relation to Laslett's theory of the third age. Parson's role theory is used to examine how social interactions and relationships change for people who have recently retired. We discuss the need for a multifaceted theory of ageing which can accommodate the continually changing experience and age of retirement. We analysed interviews conducted with 25 male and female civil servants aged between 55 and 63 years, from different grades who had been retired for less than 2 years.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This work was supported by the Medical Research Council [grant number G8802774]; Health and Safety Executive; Department of Health; British Heart Foundation; National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute [grant number 2 R01 H13310-04]; Agency for Health Care Policy Research [grant number 5 R01 HS06516]; Institute for Work and Health, Toronto, Canada, and the John D. And Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Successful Midlife Development.
Research Area: Nursing and midwifery
Faculty, School or Research Centre: Faculty of Health and Social Care Sciences (until 2013)
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Depositing User: Simon Collins
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2013 14:19
Last Modified: 08 Jan 2013 14:19

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