Dr. William T. Gallo, professor of epidemiology at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy and colleagues, studied the mechanisms of the effect of involuntary retirement on older adults’ self-rated health and mental health. The work was published in the Journal of Gerontological Social Work.
[Photo: Dr. William T. Gallo]
This study examined mechanisms of the effect of involuntary retirement on self-rated health and mental health among adults aged 50 or older. The research team used two waves of the Health and Retirement Study (2006 and 2010). They selected a sample of 1,195 individuals working for pay at baseline who responded to a lifestyle questionnaire in both waves. The analysis also considered the effects of financial control, positive and negative family relationships, and social integration on the relationship between involuntary retirement and self-rated health and mental health. Transition to involuntary retirement was directly negatively associated with subsequent self-rated health and indirectly negatively associated with mental health via perception of less financial control. Voluntary retirement was indirectly positively associated with both self-rated and mental health via perception of more financial control. Findings emphasize the importance of considering the voluntariness of retirement and recognizing the heterogeneity in the mechanisms of involuntary and voluntary retirement.