A STUDY OF THE PREDICTORS OF EMPLOYMENT STATUS AMONG OLDER AMERICANS THROUGH THE SECONDARY ANALYSIS OF DATA FROM THE 1981 NATIONAL COUNCIL ON AGING SURVEY

JOHN ANTHONY RIOLO, Fordham University

Abstract

This research is a secondary analysis of data collected by Louis Harris and Associates for the National Council on the Aging. A population of 1,598 subjects, who were heads of households and over the age of 62 was selected from a national multi-stage cluster sample of 3,427 respondents interviewed by Harris and Associates in 1981.^ The purpose was to search for key predictors of employment status in persons age 62 and over, using selected predictor variables while controlling for factors such as gender, socio-economic status and ethnicity.^ This research found few useful predictors of employment status in heterogeneous samples of persons age 62 and over. Only the subject's age and health were able to explain 3% or more of the variation in employment status. However, when homogeneous sub-groups based on age and gender, age and socio-economic status, or age and ethnicity were examined separately, additional useful predictors were found. Chief among these was the employment status of the subject's spouse. Older persons with a spouse in the work force are more likely to also remain working, at least part time.^ The overriding conclusion of this research suggest, that the retirement decisions of older persons appear to be influenced by idiosyncratic factors with a high degree of variation. Therefore predictions on the practice level can be made only with extreme caution.^ Social work practitioners working with older persons on employment/retirement decisions would be advised to employ a conceptual framework which promotes the maximum individualization of the older client in: direct practice, program development and policy formation. This can best be accomplished by: assuming that the older person is capable of paid employment until there is strong reason to believe otherwise; develop pre-retirement programs which are comprehensive in approach and address the broader issues of employment and career planning rather than just the retirement event; and support of policies support and protect the rights of older persons to make their own work-retirement decisions that are in keeping with their desires, needs and abilities. ^

Subject Area

Social Work

Recommended Citation

JOHN ANTHONY RIOLO, "A STUDY OF THE PREDICTORS OF EMPLOYMENT STATUS AMONG OLDER AMERICANS THROUGH THE SECONDARY ANALYSIS OF DATA FROM THE 1981 NATIONAL COUNCIL ON AGING SURVEY" (January 1, 1984). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI8615683.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8615683

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