The Role of Socioeconomic Status in Disaggregated Disability Trajectories among Older Adults in the United States

Miles G. Taylor, Duke University

This paper will study the impact of SES on population-level subgroups of disability experience. While much is known about the protective effects of demographic and socioeconomic risk factors on disability, little is known about how these protective effects vary for different experiences of disability. I estimate five classes of disability experience over a decade using Duke EPEPE data. Then, I measure the effects of demographic and socioeconomic variables in turn on these varying experiences. Preliminary results indicate that net of other covariates, education serves to protect individuals from disability onset (a compression effect). In addition, income works along with education, however, individuals with moderate disability increase do not vary substantially by SES. A precipitous increase group emerged, not predicted by demographic or socioeconomic variables. This group may be at risk due to health events. Further analyzes will disentangle the protective effects of these factors, especially among the oldest old.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Poster Session 1: Aging, Life Course, Health, Mortality, and Health Care