Stressful life events and depressive symptoms among the elderly: Evidence from a prospective community study

Thomas A. Glass, Stanislav V. Kasl, Lisa F. Berkman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We examined the effect of a series of common stressful life events on change in depressive symptoms among the elderly. The subjects were 1,962 noninstitutionalized people 65 years of age or older from the New Haven EPESE project. Multivariate regression models revealed that 8 of 11 stressful life events examined predicted change in depressive symptoms at follow-up (1985) after controlling for baseline depressive symptoms, age, socioeconomic factors, functional status, and chronic conditions. In addition, the total number of stressful life events was significantly associated with higher CES- D depression scores. A dose-response relationship between cumulative life event stress and change in depressive symptoms was also shown. These results suggest that certain common life event stressors may have an impact on mental health, both singly and in combination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)70-89
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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