A Matter of Combination? The Influence of Work-family Life Courses on Life Satisfaction at Higher Ages among German Women. By: Zimmermann, Okka. Journal of Family Issues. May2021, Vol. 42 Issue 5, p1029-1054. 26p.

This study analyzed the association between work-family life courses and life satisfaction among 2,542 women aged 60-65 years (born between 1920 and 1957) using German SOEP data and ANOVA models. The results are embedded in a description of the specific role of mothers in Germany (as primary caregivers), different theoretical assumptions (from role theories and theories on cumulative advantages and disadvantages), and prior results (from longitudinal and cross-sectional research). The findings provide strong evidence that motherhood in combination with not working and losing a spouse in middle age is associated with low life satisfaction at higher age. They also show that combining motherhood with continuous part-time work or childlessness with continuous full-time work is positively related to life satisfaction at higher ages. The fact that differences between other patterns are not significant, suggests that only specific combinations of characteristics of work-family life course patterns are associated with well-being at higher ages.