The mediating role of will-to-live in the connection between subjective age and depressive symptoms in late life

Yoav S. Bergman, Ehud Bodner, Ela Koren, Ye'ela Haber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Subjective age, or feeling younger/older than one's chronological age, was shown to be an important predictor of depressive symptoms among older adults. Moreover, will-to-live was found to predict the severity of depressive symptoms in old age. However, the connections between subjective age and will-to-live with regard to depressive symptoms have not been studied. Accordingly, the current study examines whether the association between subjective age and depressive symptoms is mediated by will-to-live. Data was collected from 1169 community-dwelling older adults, ranging in age from 63 to 97 (mean age = 73.61), who completed scales assessing subjective age, will-to-live, and depressive symptoms. Additional socio-demographic and health variables were assessed and controlled. Older subjective age was linked with reduced will-to-live and increased depressive symptoms. Moreover, will-to-live was found to be a significant mediator for the subjective age-depressive symptoms connection. This study highlights the clinical importance of subjective age in connection with depression in old age and emphasizes the significance of will-to-live as a relevant personal resource in this regard.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109811
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Volume157
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Apr 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Depressive symptoms
  • Subjective age
  • Will-to-live

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