Life Course Trajectories of Grip Strength by Gender, Marital Status, and Time Use: An Examination Using Time-Varying Effect Models

Hye Won Chai , Pennsylvania State University
Susanna Joo, Yonsei University
Ashton Verdery, Pennsylvania State University
David Almeida, Pennsylvania State University

Grip strength is an important indicator of physical health in adulthood, but there is lack of knowledge regarding how gender, marital status, time spent on household work and occupational work are dynamically associated with grip strength across the life course. Using Time-Varying Effect Models (TVEM), this study examined the trajectories of grip strength and time spent on occupational work and household work by gender and marital status across age, as well as the associations between time usage and grip strength. Data were drawn from the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) Wave 2. Results showed that middle-aged married men and women have stronger grip strength compared to those not married, and that women spend significantly more time doing household work than men regardless of marital status across all ages. For men, engaging in more housework was associated with stronger grip strength during mid-life.

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 Presented in Session 9. Marriage, Family, Households, & Unions; Gender, Race, & Ethnicity