Advertisement

Prolonged Working Years: Consequences and Directions for Interventions

  • Gwenith G. Fisher
  • Lindsay H. Ryan
  • Amanda Sonnega
Part of the Aligning Perspectives on Health, Safety and Well-Being book series (AHSW)

Abstract

There are many economic, social, and psychological reasons why individuals are working longer or until later ages than in decades past. This chapter considers the potential impact—both good and bad—of working longer and proposes interventions aimed at maximizing positive outcomes and mitigating negative ones. We begin with a theoretical framework for understanding consequences of prolonged work. Second, we discuss some reasons for working longer. Third, we describe results from a nationally representative study of older adults in the U.S. Fourth, we review some of the consequences of prolonged work based on empirical research findings. Finally, we describe interventions that should be considered to promote longer work lives and to ameliorate potentially negative consequences of working longer. We conclude with a summary and recommendations for future research.

Keywords

Age discrimination Autonomy Flexible work arrangements Intervention Job lock Retirement Work ability Extending work lives Older workers Work motivation 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We are grateful to Courtney McCluney and the editors and reviewers for their very helpful comments on an earlier version.

References

  1. Associated Press. (2013, December 29). How retirement systems vary, country to country. Accessed online at http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=258017550
  2. Bakker, A. B., & Demerouti, E. (2007). The job demands-resources model: State of the art. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 22(3), 309–328.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bal, A. C., Reiss, A. E., Rudolph, C. W., & Baltes, B. B. (2011). Examining positive and negative perceptions of older workers: A meta-analysis. The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 66, 687–698.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Barnes-Farrell, J. L. (2003). Beyond health and wealth: Attitudinal and other influences on retirement decision making. In G. A. Adams & T. A. Beehr (Eds.), Retirement: Reasons, processed, and results (pp. 159–187). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  5. Benjamin, K., Pransky, G., & Savageau, J. A. (2008). Factors associated with retirement-related job lock in older workers with recent occupational injury. Disability and Rehabilitation: An International Multidisciplinary Journal, 30(26), 1976–1983.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bulger, C. A., & Fisher, G. G. (2012). Ethical imperatives of work‐life balance. In N. P. Reilly, M. J. Sirgy, & C. A. Gorman (Eds.), Work and quality of life: Ethical practices in organizations (pp. 181–200). New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Burgard, S. A., Brand, J. E., & House, J. S. (2009). Perceived job insecurity and worker health in the United States. Social Science & Medicine, 69(5), 777–785.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Burtless, G., & Quinn, J. F. (2002). Is working longer the answer for an aging workforce? Center for Retirement Research Issue Brief #11, December.Google Scholar
  9. Calvo, E. (2006). Does working longer make people healthier and happier? Center for Retirement Research Issue Brief #2, February.Google Scholar
  10. Citro, C. F., & Michael, R. T. (1995). Measuring poverty: A new approach. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
  11. Costa, A. F., Puga-Leal, R., & Nunes, I. L. (2011). An exploratory study of the Work Ability Index (WAI) and its components in a group of computer workers. Work, 39(4), 357–367.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Cutler, D. M., Meara, E., & Richards-Shubik, S. (2011). Healthy life expectancy: Estimates and implications for retirement age policy. National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper, NB10-11, November.Google Scholar
  13. de Lange, A., Van de Mei, S., Van der Heijden, B., Koolhaas, W., Bultmann, U., et al. (2013). Interventions to prolong working life of older workers? Results of a systematic review. Paper presented at the Age in the Workplace Meeting, Rovereto, Italy, 21–23 November.Google Scholar
  14. Demerouti, E., Bakker, A. B., Nachreiner, F., & Schaufeli, W. B. (2001). The job demands-resources model of burnout. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86(3), 499–512.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dendinger, V. M., Adams, G. A., & Jacobson, J. D. (2005). Reasons for working and their relationship to retirement attitudes, job satisfaction, and occupational self-efficacy of bridge employees. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 61, 21–35.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Dentinger, E., & Clarkberg, M. (2002). Informal caregiving and retirement timing among men and women: Gender and caregiving relationships in late midlife. Journal of Family Issues, 23, 857–879.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Elovainio, M., Kivimäki, M., Vahtera, J., Ojanlatva, A., Korkeila, K., Suominen, S., et al. (2003). Social support, early retirement, and a retirement preference: A study of 10,489 Finnish adults. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 45(4), 433–439.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). (2013). Age discrimination in employment act FY1997 – FY2012. Accessed online on 18 May 2013 at http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/statistics/enforcement/adea.cfm
  19. Eurostat. (2012). Active ageing and solidarity between generations: A statistical portrait of the European Union 2012. Belgium: Eurostat Statistical Books. European Union.Google Scholar
  20. Finkel, D., Andel, A., Gatz, M., & Pedersen, N. L. (2009). The role of occupational complexity in trajectories of cognitive aging before and after retirement. Psychology and Aging, 24(3), 563–573.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Finkelstein, L. M., & Farrell, S. K. (2007). An expanded view of age bias in the workplace. In K. S. Shultz & G. A. Adams (Eds.), Aging and work in the 21st century (pp. 73–108). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum & Associates.Google Scholar
  22. Finkelstein, L. M., Burke, M. J., & Raju, N. S. (1995). Age discrimination in simulated employment contexts: An integrative analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 80, 652–663.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Fisher, G. G., Ryan, L. H., & Sonnega, A. (2013). Working longer and psychological well-being. Paper presented at the Age in the Workplace Meeting, Rovereto, Italy, 21–23 November.Google Scholar
  24. Fisher, G. G., Stachowski, A., Infurna, F., Faul, J. D., Grosch, J. K., & Tetrick, L. E. (2014). Mental work demands, retirement, and longitudinal trajectories of cognitive functioning. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 19(2), 231–242.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Garg, A. (1991). Ergonomics and the older worker: An overview. Experimental Aging Research, 17(3), 143–155.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Gordon, R. A., & Arvey, R. (2004). Age bias in laboratory and field settings: A meta-analytic investigation. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 34, 468–492.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Grandjean, C. K., McMullen, P. C., Miller, K. P., Howie, W. O., Ryan, K., et al. (2006). Severe occupational injuries among older workers: Demographic factors, time of injury, place and mechanism of injury, length of stay, and cost data. Nursing & Health Sciences, 8(2), 103–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Griffin, B., & Hesketh, B. (2008). Post-retirement work: The individual determinants of paid and volunteer work. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 8, 1–21.Google Scholar
  29. Grosch, J. W., & Pransky, G. (2009). Safety and health issues for an aging workforce. In S. Czaja & J. Sharit (Eds.), Aging and work: Issues and implications in a changing landscape (pp. 334–358). Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Gruber, J., & Madrian, B. C. (2004). Health insurance, labor supply, and job mobility: A critical review of the literature. In C. G. McLaughlin (Ed.), Health policy and the uninsured (pp. 97–178). Washington, DC: Urban Institute Press.Google Scholar
  31. Gruber, J., & Wise, D. A. (2002). Social security programs and retirement around the world: Micro estimation (NBER Working Paper No. 9407). Cambridge: National Bureau of Economic Research.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Gustman, A. L., Steinmeier, T. L., & Tabatabai, N. (2011). How did the recession of 2007–2009 affect the wealth and retirement of the near retirement age population in the health and retirement study? (Michigan Retirement Center Working Paper WP 2011-253). Ann Arbor: Michigan Retirement Research Center.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Harpaz, I., & Fu, X. (2002). The structure of the meaning of work: A relative stability amidst change. Human Relations, 55(6), 639–667.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Heckhausen, J., & Schulz, R. (1995). A life-span theory of control. Psychological Review, 102(2), 284–304.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Herzog, A. R., House, J. S., & Morgan, J. N. (1991). Relation of work and retirement to health and well-being in older age. Psychology and Aging, 6(2), 202–211.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. House, J. S., & Williams, D. R. (2000). Understanding and reducing socioeconomic and racial/ethnic disparities in health. In B. D. Smedley & S. L. Syme (Eds.), Promoting health: Intervention strategies from social and behavioral research (pp. 81–124). Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
  37. House, J. S., Schoeni, R. F., Kaplan, G. A., & Pollack, H. (2009). The health effects of social and economic policy: The promise and challenge for research and policy. In R. F. Schoeni, J. S. House, G. A. Kaplan, & H. Pollack (Eds.), Making Americans healthier: Social and economic policy as health policy (pp. 3–26). New York: Russell Sage.Google Scholar
  38. Ilmarinen, J., & Rantanen, J. (1999). Promotion of work ability during ageing. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 1, 21–23.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Jex, S. M., Wang, M., & Zarubin, A. (2007). Aging and occupational health. In K. S. Shultz & G. A. Adams (Eds.), Aging and work in the 21st century (pp. 199–223). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum & Associates.Google Scholar
  40. Johnson, R. W. (2005). Working longer to enhance retirement security. Older Americans’ Economic Security, The Retirement Project. Number 1, September.Google Scholar
  41. Johnson, R. W., & Mommaerts, C. (2010). How did older workers fare in 2009? (Research report). Washington, DC: The Urban Institute.Google Scholar
  42. Kanfer, R., Beier, M. E., & Ackerman, P. L. (2012). Understanding work motivation in later adulthood: Toward an organizing framework. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology. doi: 10.1080/1359432X.2012.734298.Google Scholar
  43. Karasek, R. A., Jr. (1979). Job demands, job decision latitude, and mental strain: Implications for job redesign. Administrative Science Quarterly, 24(2), 285–308.Google Scholar
  44. Lancee, B., & Radl, J. (2012). Social connectedness and the transition from work to retirement. Journals of Gerontology: Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 67B(4), 481–490.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Maestas, N. (2007). Cohort differences in retirement: Expectations and realizations. In B. C. Madrian, B. O. S. Mitchell, & B. J. Soldo (Eds.), Redefining retirement (pp. 13–35). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  46. Maslach, C., Schaufeli, W. B., & Leiter, M. P. (2001). Job burnout. Annual Review of Psychology, 52(1), 397–422.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. McFall, B. H. (2011). Crash and wait? The impact of the great recession on retirement planning of older Americans. The American Economic Review, 101(3), 40–44.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. McGonagle, A. K., Fisher, G. G., Barnes‐Farrell, J. L., & Grosch, J. W. (2014). Individual and work factors related to perceived work ability and labor force outcomes. Journal of Applied Psychology. Advanced online publication October 13, 2014 http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0037974
  49. Melamed, S., Shirom, A., Toker, S., Berliner, S., & Shapira, I. (2006). Burnout and risk of cardiovascular disease: Evidence, causal paths, and promising research directions. Psychological Bulletin, 132, 327–353.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Milligan, K. S., & Wise, D. A. (2012). Health and work at older ages: Using mortality to assess employment capacity across countries (NBER Working Paper No. 18229). Cambridge: National Bureau of Economic Research.Google Scholar
  51. Moen, P., Fields, V., Quick, H. E., & Hofmeister, H. (2000). A life course approach to retirement and social integration. In K. Pillemer, P. Moen, E. Wethington, & N. Glasgow (Eds.), Social integration in the second half of life (pp. 75–107). Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  52. Mor-Barak, M. E. (1995). The meaning of work for older adults seeking employment: The generativity factor. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 41, 325–344.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Ng, T. W., & Feldman, D. C. (2008). The relationship of age to ten dimensions of job performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 93, 392–423.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Rabinowitz, S., & Hall, D. T. (1981). Changing correlates of job involvement in three career stages. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 18(2), 138–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Rohwedder, S., & Willis, R. J. (2010). Mental retirement. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 24, 119–138.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Schaufeli, W. B., & Enzmann, D. (1998). The burnout companion to study and practice: A critical analysis. Washington, DC: Taylor & Francis.Google Scholar
  57. Schulz, R., & Martire, L. M. (2009). Caregiving and employment. In S. J. Czaja & J. Sharit (Eds.), Aging and work: Issues and implications in a changing landscape (pp. 35–50). Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  58. Schwerha, D. J., & McMullin, D. L. (2002). Prioritizing ergonomic research in aging for the 21st century American workforce. Experimental Aging Research, 28(1), 99–110.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Semmer, N. K. (2011). Job stress interventions and organization of work. In J. C. Quick & L. E. Tetrick (Eds.), Handbook of occupational health psychology (2nd ed., pp. 299–318). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  60. Shirom, A. (2011). Job-related burnout: A review of major research foci and challenges. In J. C. Quick & L. E. Tetrick (Eds.), Handbook of occupational health psychology (2nd ed., pp. 223–241). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  61. Shultz, K. S., Morton, K. R., & Weckerle, J. R. (1998). The influence of push and pull factors on voluntary and involuntary early retirees’ retirement decision and adjustment. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 53(1), 45–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Smith, D. R., Holton, B. C., & Mitchell, T. R. (2011). Enhancing precision in the prediction of voluntary turnover and retirement. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 79(1), 290–302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Steger, M. F., & Dik, B. J. (2009). If one is looking for meaning in life, does it help to find meaning in work? Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, 1, 303–320.Google Scholar
  64. Steger, M. F., Dik, B. J., & Duffy, R. D. (2012). Measuring meaningful work: The work and meaning inventory. Journal of Career Assessment, 20, 322–337.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Sverke, M., Hellgren, J., & Naswall, K. (2002). No security: A meta-analysis and review of job insecurity and its consequences. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 7(3), 242–264.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Taylor, M. A., & Shore, L. M. (1995). Predictors of planned retirement age: An application of Beehr’s model. Psychology and Aging, 10(1), 76–83.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Templer, A., Armstrong-Stassen, M., & Cattaneo, R. J. (2010). Antecedents of older workers’ motives for continuing to work. Career Development International, 15(5), 479–500.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. van Solinge, H., & Henkens, K. (2010). Living longer, working longer? The impact of subjective life expectancy on retirement intentions and behaviour. European Journal of Public Health, 20(1), 47–51.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Viswesvaran, C., Sanchez, J. I., & Fisher, J. (1999). The role of social support in the process of work stress: A meta-analysis. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 54(2), 314–334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Wang, M., Olson, D. A., & Shultz, K. S. (2013). Mid and late career issues: An integrative perspective. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  71. Warr, P. (1994). A conceptual framework for the study of work and mental health. Work & Stress, 8(2), 84–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Weir, D. R. (2007). Are baby boomers living well longer? In B. Madrian, O. S. Mitchell, & B. J. Soldo (Eds.), Redefining retirement (pp. 95–111). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  73. Wheaton, F., & Crimmins, E. M. (2013). The demography of aging and retirement. In M. Wang (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of retirement (pp. 22–41). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  74. Zaniboni, S., Sarchielli, G., & Fraccaroli, F. (2010). How are psychosocial factors related to retirement intentions? International Journal of Manpower, 31(3), 271–285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Zwerling, C., Sprince, N. L., Davis, C. S., Whitten, P. S., Wallace, R. R., & Heeringa, S. G. (1998). Occupational injuries among older workers with disabilities: A prospective cohort study of the health and retirement survey, 1992 to 1994. American Journal of Public Health, 88(11), 1691–1695.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gwenith G. Fisher
    • 1
  • Lindsay H. Ryan
    • 2
  • Amanda Sonnega
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA
  2. 2.Institute for Social ResearchUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

Personalised recommendations