The road to resilience: A comparative life course study

Ageing can be associated with losses in health, partnership and wealth, but some people manage to limit the impact of these events on their wellbeing substantially.

In a context of population ageing with scarce public resources, the issue of coping with adverse aspects of ageing becomes even more important.

To explore these issues, this project will use innovative theoretical insights into the nature of resilience and a mixed methods approach. This will incorporate a combination of comparative longitudinal data from England (the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing) and the USA (the Health and Retirement Study) and qualitative in-depth interviews with older residents of Manchester who have experienced adverse events. The study will create insight into novel ways of maintaining wellbeing, through the study of the four distinct phases of the causal impact chain.

Outcomes of the project will highlight new ways of maintaining wellbeing in the face of adversity, by examining material and life course resources mobilised to foster successful ageing. The project focuses on vulnerability, adverse events and resilience.

Principal Investigator

  • Dr Bram Vanhoutte, Research Fellow in Sociology, Cathie Marsh Institute for Social Research, The University of Manchester

Funder and funding period

The University of Manchester, Simon Fellowship, January 2017 to December 2019

Project partners

The project will deliver tangible and relevant input to policy and practice development, focused on managing the challenges of ageing by working closely with local policy makers (Manchester City Council) and stakeholders (older people).

Impact partners

Collaborating universities

Academic disciplines involved

Psychology, Sociology, Economics, Epidemiology