Fertility trajectories and later-life depression among parents in England

Publication type

Journal Article


Publication date

June 1, 2020


We examine pathways between indicators of fertility tempo/quantum and depressive symptoms among parents aged 55+ with at least two children, using three waves of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Using standard regression approaches and path analysis within the structural equation framework, we also investigate whether fertility trajectories mediated the association between childhood disadvantage and later-life depression. Results provide limited support for direct influences of fertility trajectories on depression, but indicate indirect linkages for both women and men. Associations are mediated by partnership history, social support, wealth, later-life smoking, and functional limitation. Associations between childhood disadvantage and later-life depression are partially mediated by fertility stressors. Results confirm the influence of life course experiences on depression at older ages and demonstrate the interlinked role of family and other life course pathways on later-life well-being.

Published in

Population Studies

Volume and page numbers

Volume: 74 , p.219 -240







Open Access

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited



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