Self-perceptions of aging mediate the longitudinal relationship of hopelessness and depressive symptoms.

TitleSelf-perceptions of aging mediate the longitudinal relationship of hopelessness and depressive symptoms.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsGum, AM, Ayalon, L
JournalInternational Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Volume33
Issue4
Pagination591-597
Date Published04/2018
ISSN Number1099-1166
KeywordsDepressive symptoms, Health Conditions and Status, Optimism, Self-reported health
Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of the current study was to examine the hypothesis that the prospective relationship between hopelessness and depressive symptoms is mediated by self-perceptions of aging.

METHODS: Data from 3 waves of the US Health and Retirement Study (2008, 2012, and 2014) were used (N = 4606; age M = 65.3, 55.5% female). In mediation analyses, hopelessness in 2008 was the independent variable, self-perceptions of aging in 2012 were the mediator, and depressive symptoms in 2014 were the outcome variable.

RESULTS: After controlling for covariates, hopelessness in 2008 was an independent predictor of self-perceptions of aging in 2012 (β = -.10, P < .001), and self-perceptions of aging in 2012 was an independent predictor of depressive symptoms in 2014 (β = -.41, P < .001). Hopelessness in 2008 showed both direct (β = .09, P < .001) and indirect (β = .03, P < .001) effects on depressive symptoms in 2014, indicating partial mediation by change in self-perceptions of aging.

CONCLUSIONS: As hypothesized, change in self-perceptions of aging partially mediated the relationship of hopelessness with depressive symptoms 6 years later. Findings are consistent with a conceptualization of hopelessness as broad negative expectations about the future that may contribute to negative self-perceptions of aging and subsequent changes in depressive symptoms. Reducing hopelessness, increasing hope, and improving self-perceptions of aging have potential to reduce and prevent depressive symptoms for older adults. Future research should examine the mechanisms of these interrelationships and other aging outcomes.

DOI10.1002/gps.4826
User Guide Notes

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29205512?dopt=Abstract

Alternate JournalInt J Geriatr Psychiatry
Citation Key9467
PubMed ID29205512