Demography and Retirement: The Twenty-First Century

By Anna M. Rappaport; Sylvester J. Schieber | Go to book overview

over time in a population but it ignores the return to good health from poor health which is an important aspect of any individual's pattern of change in health. Recent studies of health change in the older ages have employed a dynamic perspective to examine health change in both directions- getting sick and getting well ( Crimmins and Saito, 1990; Rogers, et al., 1990). These studies have demonstrated the importance of rehabilitation to wellness in affecting the overall level of health in a population. Emphasis on rehabilitation or the return of lost functioning which can accompany chronic disease is also important in determining the societal level of good health.


ENDNOTES
1.
The changes instituted in 1982 had striking effects on the level of ill-health reported for some age groups on both limitation of activity days. In addition, even a cursory glance at the time trend data for limitation of activity indicates that 1977 was an unusual year. A special supplement on disability was added to the main survey during this year to be administered to those with some limitation of activity. It appears that the interviewers found fewer people limited in activity in order to reduce the number of supplements they would have to administer.

The method applied to determine the adjustment for the series of limitation of activity was to regress the annual proportion reporting limitation of activity for each age group on year, year squared, a dummy variable for 1977, and a dummy variable for the time period from 1982 through 1988. The adjustment was made using the coefficients for the 1977 dummy and the 1982 through 1988 dummy.

For each series the equation resulted in an R2 greater than .90. Adjustments were made when the probability level of the coefficient was. I or smaller.

The procedure for adjusting restricted activity days was similar except that no indicator for 1977 was included in the regression.

2.
'Normal activity' consists of both what are called major activities and secondary activities. Major activities consist of working, keeping house, and in later years (for those over 69) of performing personal care functions. The percent limited in these major activities can vary by age and sex because of the strength and stamina required for the activity. Thus levels are not always comparable across age-sex groups. 'Secondary activities' consist of other activities such as involvement with community, church, or friends.
3.
While each survey contained numerous additional questions about functioning ability, more items were not included in the analysis either because of incompatibility in question or response category format or because questions asked in one year were not asked in another.

-242-

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