Work-Family Trajectories and Multidimensional Wellbeing. Evidence from France.

Constance Beaufils , King's College London
Barbuscia Anna, INED

Several studies have focused on the work-family spillovers, or on how balancing work and family influences wellbeing, yet little is known about how work and family life courses interact and affect health and wellbeing. This paper adopts a holistic life course perspective to study how work and family trajectories interact and affect health and wellbeing. We draw on data from the French Health and Professional Itinerary longitudinal survey, that includes long-term detailed retrospective information on work, parental, partnership histories, and also on socio-demographic characteristics, current and past health problems. We apply standard and multi-channel sequence analysis to identify long-term dominant patterns of work and family life courses. First, we describe those patterns, their intersection and their social determinants. Then, we test their association with multidimensional measures of well-being, including physical and mental health and satisfaction with social network and professional life. We explore variations in these associations, depending on gender and socio-economic status. Our findings show gender and social differences in terms of work and family life courses. They unveil types of work and family life courses that interfere with distinct dimensions of well-being for men and women. For both men and women, work histories characterized by weaker ties with the labour market (work interruptions with or without return, part-time employment) are associated with a decrease in most well-being indicators, and separated lone parents experience a lower social well-being. For women, the timing of transition into parenthood and partnership is associated with well-being as measured by various indicators.

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 Presented in Session 90. Work-Life Balance, Parenthood, and Health