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Adverse events over the life course and later-life wellbeing and depressive symptoms in older people

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 October 2020

Sol Richardson*
Affiliation:
Research Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, International Centre for Life Course Studies in Society and Health, University College London, London, UK
Ewan Carr
Affiliation:
Research Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, International Centre for Life Course Studies in Society and Health, University College London, London, UK Department of Biostatistics and Health Informatics, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London, London, UK
Gopalakrishnan Netuveli
Affiliation:
Research Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, International Centre for Life Course Studies in Society and Health, University College London, London, UK Institute for Connected Communities, University of East London, London, UK
Amanda Sacker
Affiliation:
Research Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, International Centre for Life Course Studies in Society and Health, University College London, London, UK
*Corresponding
Correspondence should be addressed to: Sol Richardson, Research Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, International Centre for Life Course Studies in Society and Health, University College London, 1-19 Torrington Place, London WC1E 6BT, UK. Phone: +44 (0)20 35596440. Email: sol.richardson@cantab.net

Abstract

Objectives:

Exposures to adverse events are associated with impaired later-life psychological health. While these associations depend on the type of event, the manner in which associations for different event types depend on when they occur within the life course has received less attention. We investigated associations between counts of adverse events over the life course, and wellbeing and mental health outcomes in older people, according to their timing (age of occurrence), orientation (self or other) and, both their timing and orientation.

Design:

Linear and logistic random-effects models for repeated observations.

Setting:

England, 2002–2015.

Participants:

A total of 4,208 respondents aged >50 years with 22,146 observations across Waves 1–7 of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing.

Measurements:

Cumulative adversity was measured by counts of 16 types of events occurring within four age ranges over the life course using retrospective life history data. These were categorized into other- (experienced through harms to others) and self-oriented events. Outcomes included CASP-12 (control, autonomy, self-realization, and pleasure), the eight-item Centre of Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale, and self-appraised subjective life satisfaction.

Results:

Additional adverse events were associated with lower CASP-12 and life satisfaction scores, and higher odds of probable depressive caseness. In childhood, other-oriented events had a larger negative association with later-life wellbeing than self-oriented events; the converse was found for events occurring in adulthood.

Conclusions:

Events occurring at all life course stages were independently associated with both later-life wellbeing and depression in a cumulative fashion. Certain age ranges may represent sensitive periods for specific event types.

Type
Original Research Article
Copyright
© International Psychogeriatric Association 2020

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