Cloth $51.00 ISBN: 9780226074757 Published January 2004
Paper $40.00 ISBN: 9780226074771 Published November 2005

How Healthy Are We?

A National Study of Well-Being at Midlife

Edited by Orville Gilbert Brim, Carol D. Ryff, and Ronald C. Kessler

Edited by Orville Gilbert Brim, Carol D. Ryff, and Ronald C. Kessler

688 pages | 74 figures, 104 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2004
Cloth $51.00 ISBN: 9780226074757 Published January 2004
Paper $40.00 ISBN: 9780226074771 Published November 2005
Childhood, adolescence, even the "twilight years" have been extensively researched and documented. But the vast terrain known as midlife—the longest segment of the life course—has remained uncharted. How physically and psychologically healthy are Americans at midlife? And why do some experience greater well-being than others?

The MacArthur Foundation addressed these questions head-on by funding a landmark study known as "Midlife in the U.S.," or MIDUS. For the first time in a single study, researchers were able to integrate epidemiological, sociological, and psychological assessments, as well as innovative new measures to evaluate how work and family life influence each other.

How Healthy Are We? presents the key findings from the survey in three sections: physical health, quality of life and psychological well-being, and the contexts (family, work) of the midlife. The topics covered by almost forty scholars in a wide variety of fields are vast, including everything from how health and well-being vary with socioeconomic standing, gender, race, or region of the country to how middle-aged people differ from younger or older adults in their emotional experience and quality of life. This health—the study measures not only health-the absence of illness—but also reports on the presence of wellness in middle-aged Americans.

The culmination of a decade and a half of research by leading scholars, How Healthy Are We? will dramatically alter the way we think about health in middle age and the factors that influence it. Researchers, policymakers, and others concerned about the quality of midlife in contemporary America will welcome its insights.

* Having a good life means having good relationships with others to almost 70% of those surveyed. Less than 40% mentioned their careers.

* Reports of disruptive daily stressors vary by age, with young adults and those in midlife experiencing more than those in later adulthood.

* Men have higher assessments of their physical and mental health than woman until the age of 60.
Contents
Acknowledgments
1 The MIDUS National Survey: An Overview
I MIDLIFE PERSPECTIVES ON PHYSICAL HEALTH
2 Sex Differences in Health over the Course of Midlife
3 Socioeconomic Position and Health across Midlife
4 Social Inequalities in Health and Well-Being: The Role of Relational and Religious
Protective Factors
5 Health, Well-Being, and Social Responsibility in the MIDUS Twin and Sibling Subsamples
6 The Menopausal Transition and Aging Processes
II EMOTION, QUALITY OF LIFE, AND PSYCHOLOGICAL WELL- BEING IN MIDLIFE
7 Positive and Negative Affect at Midlife
8 Age and Depression in the MIDUS Survey
9 The Quality of American Life at the End of the Century
10 In Their Own Words: Well-Being at Midlife among High School- Educated and College Educated Adults
11 The Adaptive Value of Feeling in Control during Midlife
12 Social Well-Being in the United States: A Descriptive Epidemiology
13 Ethnic Conservatism, Psychological Well Being, and the Downside of Mainstreaming: Generational Differences
14 Psychological Well-Being in MIDUS: Profiles of Ethnic/Racial Diversity and Life-Course
Uniformity
III CONTEXTS OF MIDLIFE: WORK AND FAMILY EXPERIENCE, NEIGHBORHOOD, AND GEOGRAPHIC REGION
15 Is Daily Life More Stressful during Middle Adulthood?
16 Psychological Well-Being across Three Cohorts: A Response to Shifting Work-Family Opportunities and Expectations?
17 Work, Family, and Social Class
18 Family Roles and Well-Being during the Middle Life Course
19 Social Responsibility to Family and Community
20 Turning Points in Adulthood
21 Well-Being in America: Core, Features and Regional Patterns
List of Contributors
Author Index
Subject Index
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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