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Vicki Freedman photo

Disability, Time Use, and Well-Being Among Middle Aged and Older Married Couples

a PSC Research Project

Investigators:   Vicki Freedman, Frank P. Stafford, Frederick G. Conrad, Norbert Schwarz

This NIA-funded project is a methodological and analytical study of time use in a sample of middle-aged and older married couples who participate in the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID). The overarching goals are 1) to assess the feasibility of including time diaries for adults on a larger scale in the PSID and 2) to produce a rich and nationally-focused data archive to support innovative research on disability, time use, and well-being for married couples ages 50 and older. To achieve these goals, we will carry out five specific aims. First, developmental efforts will be undertaken at the Institute for Social Research to determine how best to build upon established time diary methods. Second, time diaries will be collected in computer-assisted telephone interviews from 400 married couples ages 50 and older drawn from the 2009 wave of the PSID, with oversampling of couples in which one or both have a disability. Same-day interviews will be obtained for husbands and wives for one random weekday and one random weekend day so that 1,600 diaries will be completed in all. Third, feasibility of a wide-scale PSID time diary collection will be evaluated based on both qualitative (e.g., debriefing of interviewers) and quantitative (e.g., response rates, length of scheduling time, synchronicity of interviews, missing data) evidence. Fourth, the PSID will make these data available online through its public use Data Center, thereby allowing the research community to investigate a range of questions related to disability, time use, and well-being. Fifth, the project team will answer targeted analytic and measurement questions related to: a) How does disability influence time use and related patterns of affect?; b) How do different approaches to accommodating functional decline influence time use and related affect?; and, c) How does disability influence synchronization of time use among couples? This project is part of the NIA-funded P01 Economic Status, Health & Well Being Over the Life Course and Across Generations (PI: Schoeni).

Funding Period: 03/15/2007 to 02/29/2012

Country of Focus: USA

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