Robert F . Schoeni

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CONTEXT Several well-publicized recent studies have suggested that disability among older Americans has declined in the last decade. OBJECTIVES To assess the quality, quantity, and consistency of recent evidence on US trends in the prevalence of self-rated old age disability and physical, cognitive, and sensory limitations during the late 1980s and 1990s(More)
In September 2002, a technical working group met to resolve previously published inconsistencies across national surveys in trends in activity limitations among the older population. The 12-person panel prepared estimates from five national data sets and investigated methodological sources of the inconsistencies among the population aged 70 and older from(More)
This paper uses the US Health and Retirement Study to explore linkages between neighborhood conditions and stages of the disablement process among adults aged 55 years and older in the United States. We consider multiple dimensions of the neighborhood including the built environment as well as social and economic conditions. In doing so, we use factor(More)
The percentage of elderly widows living alone rose from 18% in 1940 to 62% in 1990, while the percentage living with adult children declined from 59% to 20%. This study finds that income growth, particularly increased Social Security benefits, was the single most important determinant of living arrangements, accounting for nearly one-half of the increase in(More)
When individuals fall on hard times, can they rely on their family for financial support? In view of proposed reductions in public assistance programs, it is important to understand the mechanisms through which families provide support for their members. In this article we provide evidence that intrafamily transfers are compensatory, directed(More)
Using national data from the U.S., we find that poor health at birth and limited parental resources (including low income, lack of health insurance, and unwanted pregnancy) interfere with cognitive development and health capital in childhood, reduce educational attainment, and lead to worse labor market and health outcomes in adulthood. These effects are(More)
OBJECTIVE The purpose of this study was to provide new evidence on disability trends among elderly persons from 1982 to 1996. METHODS The sample includes 124,949 participants aged 70 and older in the 1982-1996 National Health Interview Surveys. Logistic analysis was used to estimate the trend in disability prevalence after controlling for various(More)
OBJECTIVES We addressed three questions: Have recent improvements in old-age disability been mirrored in changes in self-reported general health status? Are general health status trends similar for younger and older Americans? Have changes in general health status been uniform across demographic and socioeconomic groups? METHODS Using logistic regression,(More)
Although still below 2 percent, the proportion of people ages 50-64 who reported needing help with personal care activities increased significantly from 1997 to 2007. The proportions needing help with routine household chores and indicating difficulty with physical functions were stable. These patterns contrast with reported declines in disability among the(More)
The decline in late-life disability prevalence in the United States was one of the most important developments in the well-being of older Americans in the 1980s and 1990s, but there is no guarantee that it will continue into the future. We review the past literature on trends in disability and other health indicators and then estimate the most recent trends(More)