American Sociological Association

Multigenerational Attainments, Race, and Mortality Risk among Silent Generation Women

This study extends health disparities research by examining racial differences in the relationships between multigenerational attainments and mortality risk among “Silent Generation” women. An emerging literature suggests that the socioeconomic attainments of adjacent generations, one’s parents and adult children, provide an array of life-extending resources in old age. Prior research, however, has demonstrated neither how multigenerational resources are implicated in women’s longevity nor how racial disparities faced by Silent Generation women may differentially structure the relationships between socioeconomic attainments and mortality. With data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Mature Women, the analysis provided evidence of a three-generation model in which parent occupation, family wealth, and adult child education were independently associated with women’s mortality. Although we found evidence of racial differences in the associations between parental, personal, and spousal education and mortality risk, the education of adult children was a robust predictor of survival for black and white women.

Authors

Joseph D. Wolfe, Shawn Bauldry, Melissa A. Hardy, Eliza K. Pavalko

Volume

59

Issue

3

Starting Page

335

Ending Page

351