How parental mortality changes with the age of the child

Sven Drefahl, Stockholm University

Previous research investigated several different aspects of the relationship between having a child and parental mortality. An aspect of research that was neglected until now is the age of the child. If children have an effect on parental mortality it is likely to change as they grow up. A previous study found that mortality is increasing with the age of the youngest child. The authors do not give any explanations for this effect and do not investigate whether the finding is influenced by other variables. I extend previous research by applying a longitudinal approach using Danish Register data and hazard regression models for men and women separately. Adjusting for age and a variety of control variables I found that risk of dying increases by age of the youngest child for both sexes. Additional interactions and models for different causes of death suggest that selection, behavioral changes and probably unobserved protective effects contribute to this pattern.

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Presented in Session 72: Relationship between reproduction and mortality