Men's health and co-residence with older generations in Russia: better or worse?

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

Previous studies show contradictory findings on the relationship between health and intergenerational living arrangements (ILAs), which may be due to variation in who selects themselves into and out of ILA. Addressing the selectivity into ILA and the health of the older generation, we assess whether there is a health-protective or health-damaging effect of ILA. We locate our study in the Russian context, where ILA is prevalent and men's health has become a public health issue.

METHODS

We apply a fixed-effects logistic regression to self-rated health status of 11 546 men aged 25 years or older who participated in at least two waves in the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey from 1994 to 2015. To further isolate the health effect of ILA, we observe only associations after transitioning into or out of ILA.

RESULTS

A transition into co-residence with an unhealthy older generation increases men's odds of reporting poor health (OR=0.64, CI 0.44 to 0.93). A transition out of co-residence with a healthy older generation decreases men's odds of reporting fine health by 63% (OR=0.37, CI 0.28 to 0.50), whereas continuing to live with an unhealthy older generation decreases the odds by half (OR=0.49, CI 0.38 to 0.63).

CONCLUSIONS

We reveal a health interlinkage between co-residing generations by finding a detrimental health effect of co-residence with an unhealthy older generation. No longer living with an older generation who was in fine health also negatively affects men's health. Future studies should address heterogeneity related to the health of older generations, unobserved time-constant characteristics of younger generations and selectivity into/out of ILA.

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