Friday, January 12, 2018: 1:45 PM-3:15 PM
Liberty BR Salon I (ML 4) (Marriott Marquis Washington DC)
Cluster: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
Karen Fredriksen-Goldsen, PhD, University of Washington
Worldwide, the aging population is growing in complexity and diversity, including by sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. Given shifting demographics, the population of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) midlife and older adults is rapidly expanding. Based on an innovative Life Course Equity Model, this symposium investigates life events as they relate to the nature of LGBTQ identities, and experiences with work and both kin and social relationships. Data from the first national and longitudinal study, Aging with Pride: The National Health, Aging and Sexuality/Gender study, are used. The study is funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Aging. The on-going study follows 2,450 LGBTQ midlife and older adults, aged 50 and older, over time with a retention rate of 96%. Components of Life Course Equity Model are applied to identify modifiable mechanisms (environmental, psychological, social, and behavioral processes) to understand health, aging and well-being in later life in these historically disadvantaged communities. In addition, key life events, as they relate to identity, social relationships, and work, are further identified among diverse subgroups in these communities. The findings illustrate the varied experiences over the lifespan, and the ways in which life events are both individualized and interconnected. Based on the Life Course Equity Model, Fredriksen-Goldsen and colleagues analyze the longitudinal interplay between sexual/gender identity, key life events, and quality of life and health by gender and generational differences among the Invisible, Silenced and Pride Generations. Jen and colleagues investigate the common, as well as distinct, life events of bisexual older women and men, and their association with health and well-being. Harner and colleagues explore the heterogeneity over the life course by analyzing the key life events related to identity, kin and social relationships, and work among trans women, trans men and non-binary individuals. It is imperative to understand the resilience in these populations as well as to identify life events that result in greater risk of aging and health disparities. By analyzing key life events, mechanisms influencing health and well-being can be identified so interventions can be developed and tailored to improve the health and well-being of the increasingly demographically diverse older adult population. By applying an equity lens, this symposium illustrates innovative findings on the ways in which historical and environmental context influence human development and how the interplay between marginalization and resilience shape lives over time. Next steps for the future of LGBTQ research in later life are identified.
* noted as presenting author
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