Objectives: Depression is a major health concern for both individuals and societies. Hence, understanding the risk factors for depression is of importance. As individuals grow older, the way in which they perceive the aging process may have a significant influence on their physical and mental health. More negative perceptions of aging could put individuals at risk for social withdrawal, causing loneliness and resulting in higher levels of depressive symptoms. Methods: We use the Health and Retirement Survey, a large and longitudinal dataset spanning over a period of 8 years, to examine a model in which loneliness mediates the relationship between self-perceptions of aging and depressive symptoms. Results: Our findings suggest that loneliness indeed mediates the relationship between self-perceptions of aging and depressive symptoms. Conclusions: The results highlight to the importance of the way people view the aging process in shaping their social and mental well-being. Practitioners may want to address self-perceptions of aging when helping older adults cope with loneliness and depressive symptoms.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Aging and Mental Health|
|Early online date||20 Oct 2021|
|State||Published - Jul 2022|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The HRS (Health and Retirement Study) is sponsored by the National Institute on Aging (grant number NIA U01AG009740) and is conducted by the University of Michigan.
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
- Self-perceptions of aging
- depressive symptoms