Research success at SLLS Conference 2018

Eight new research papers which used data from Understanding Society and the British Household Panel Survey were presented at the eighth Society for Longitudinal and Lifecourse Studies (SLLS) conference.


The SLLS conference was held in Milan, Italy on 9-11 July 2018 and was hosted by the University of Milano Bicocca.

Which papers included Understanding Society and the British Household Panel Survey?

Socioeconomic Position and DNA Methylation Age Acceleration Across the Lifecourse in UKHLS
Authors: Amanda Hughes, University of Essex, UK, Meena Kumari, Melissa Smart, Tyler Gorrie-Stone, Eilis Hannon, Jonathan Mill, Joe Burrage, Yanchun Bao, Leo Schalkwyk, Universities of Essex and Exeter, UK

The team assessed the relationship of Horvath and Hannum DNA methylation age with a range of social position measures in 1,099 adults from the UK Household Longitudinal Study, aged 28-98 years. They examined income, labour market position, education and parental social class).

Genetics in the Context of Social to Biological Research
Presenter: Meena Kumari, University of Essex, UK

Professor Kumari discussed how social-biological research seeks to understand the interaction between social and economic circumstances and health. She highlighted some of the issues that have emerged in analyses of broader social outcomes, for example small effect sizes and the implications of this for the use of genetics in social-biological research.

Family Pathways and Later Life Subjective Health Across 22 European Nations
Authors: Mioara Zoutewelle-Terovan, Joanne Muller, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute, Netherlands

By looking at family patterns, the team found individuals in a living together relationship (cohabitation or marriage) report better health levels compared to individuals who never engaged in such relationships. However, childless individuals report poorer health compared to parents. Results also show that health deteriorates when individuals engage in multiple romantic unions or have more children.

Gender Differences in Educational Aspirations and Attitudes
Author: Tina Rampino and Mark P. Taylor, University of Queensland, Australia

Using panel data from the British Household Panel Survey the researchers examined gender differences in educational attitudes and aspirations among 11-15 year olds. They found that girls have more positive aspirations and attitudes than boys while heterogeneous gender effect models reveal that boys are more responsive to the home learning environment and that their educational attitudes and aspirations deteriorate at a younger age than those of girls.

Impact of the Smoke-Free Public Places Legislation on Inequalities in Youth Smoking Uptake in the UK
Authors: Philip Anyanwu, Peter Craig, Srinivasa Vittal Katikireddi, Michael Green, MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow, UK

The research team wanted to understand the impact of smoke-free legislation on youth smoking behaviour in the UK. Using the British Household Panel Survey and Understanding Society study (1994-2016), they found youths aged 11-15 years were less likely to initiate smoking after the smoke-free legislation than before. The implementation of the smokefree legislation had no significant impact on progressions to occasional smoking, daily smoking  and quitting.

Housework, Gender Ideology and Couples' Fertility Intentions
Authors: Liat Raz-Yurovich, Barbara S. Okun, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

There were three research questions within this paper: Do men increase their housework following the birth of children, do more egalitarian men increase housework more and as men do more housework & take on more egalitarian gender role attitudes, do couples adjust their fertility intentions? Using the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS), the results demonstrate that men’s greater gender egalitarianism increases both men’s contributions to housework following childbirth and the likelihood of consensus for having at least one more child among the couple.

How do Trajectories of Disadvantage and Social Capital Relate to Allostatic Load?
Authors: Lucy Prior, David Manley, Kelvyn Jones, University of Bristol, UK

This paper uses data from the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) and Understanding Society to construct indices of allostatic load. They used multilevel latent class analysis to identify groups of exposure trajectories over time, using these groups to predict allostatic load at the final wave.

Family Resources and Child Bearing Under Different Family Policy Schemes
Authors: Sehar Ezdi, Jani Erola, Elina Kilpi-Jakonen, Heta Pöyliö, University of Turku, Finland

The team studied the influence of parental resources on fertility by analysing the probability and timing of first and second child births from four panel datasets: Finnish register data, UK BHPS (and Understanding society), German SOEP and US PSID. They expected a direct relationship between family policies and fertility so that more generous family policies would serve as an incentive to boost fertility, and more so for families with low levels of resources.