Health, Wealth and Happiness: Dynamics of Families and a Good Old Age?

Population aging is one of the most pressing global challenges we face and families are expected to play a starring role in meeting those challenges. Yet families are increasingly diverse and complex because of such trends as higher rates of divorce and remarriage, delayed marriage and parenthood, childlessness, lower fertility rates, same sex marriage and changing employment situations. Despite these profound changes, families continue to be the key social institution in which individuals are embedded, cared for, and supported – especially in later life. But the effects of major family transitions may accumulate – as advantage or disadvantage - over the life course, intensifying their impact on later life well-being. This innovative cluster project will build an international interdisciplinary team, deepen community partnerships, and test the capacity of Canadian data to understand how family life course transitions affect older adults’ health, wealth and happiness.