Principal Advisor: Dr Emily Gordon


Organisational unit: Centre for Health Services Research

There is great scope to further investigate sex differences in morbidity, mortality and frailty. We are particularly interested in the hypothesis that social factors and health behaviours related to an individual’s gender identity may augment the impact of sex on frailty and mortality. This intersection of biological sex and gender identity, as it relates to frailty and the sex-frailty paradox has not been addressed in the literature to date. Research projects may adopt qualitative and quantitative methodologies. We are also interested in the relationship between childbearing/rearing and later life frailty. We used the ELSA dataset to commence investigations of this relationship; however, there is much more to be done. The ELSA dataset is rich with information regarding socioeconomic and health behaviour variables and there is potential to use ‘mother-father dyads’ to explore the intrinsic and extrinsic factors influencing the relationship between childrearing and later life frailty in each sex. ELSA also collected detailed information regarding non-biological offspring (including adopted, fostered and step-children) and would enable a comparison of biological and non-biological parents in relation to frailty. There is also potential to explore reproduction-frailty hypotheses using Australian datasets, such as the ALSWH and CHAMPs studies.