Parity and parents' health in later life: The gendered case of Ismailia, Egypt

Michal Engelman, Emily M. Agree, Kathryn M. Yount, David Bishai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigate the relationship between reproduction and functional health in later life among women and men in the resource-poor and gender-stratified setting of Ismailia governorate, Egypt. Analyses of survey data collected in 2003 show a statistically significant positive association between parity and difficulty with activities of daily living (ADLs), controlling for demographic and socio-economic factors and other co- morbid conditions. We also find that the number of daughters (but not sons) is associated with worse physical functioning, and this association is more pronounced for older fathers than for older mothers. Our results indicate that both biological and social pathways link fertility and later-life health in this context, and that prescribed familial roles may underlie the differential impact of sons and daughters on the health of mothers and fathers in later life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-178
Number of pages14
JournalPopulation Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2010


  • Activities of daily living (adls)
  • Childbearing
  • Disability
  • Functional status
  • Gender
  • Parity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • History


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