Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home

Accumulated lifecourse adversities and depressive symptoms in later life among older men and women in England: a longitudinal study

  • Jane Falkingham (a1), Maria Evandrou (a1) (a2), Min Qin (a1) (a2) and Athina Vlachantoni (a1) (a2)

Abstract

This paper investigates the association between accumulated major lifecourse adversities and later-life depressive symptoms among older people in England, both at a single point in time (prevalence) and the onset over time during later life (incidence), using data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Using retrospective data on the experience of major life adversities from childhood onwards, five latent classes were identified: no/few lifecourse adversities (58.6%), lost relationship (27.0%), chained adversities (2.4%), childhood adversities (6.3%) and war-related adversities (5.7%). Older people who had experienced ‘chained adversities’, ‘childhood adversities’ and ‘a lost relationship’ had higher odds of presenting current depressive symptoms in 2006, even after controlling for socio-demographic characteristics, health-risk behaviours and social resources. Longitudinal analysis indicated that amongst respondents who were clear of depression in 2006, those older people who had experienced childhood adversities, a lost relationship and war-related adversities experienced a higher risk of having a new case of depressive symptoms. Results further indicate that women's mental health in later life is more sensitive to earlier life adversities than men's. The study shows that intervention earlier in the lifecourse may have benefits for the individual both contemporaneously and over the longer term.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Accumulated lifecourse adversities and depressive symptoms in later life among older men and women in England: a longitudinal study
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Accumulated lifecourse adversities and depressive symptoms in later life among older men and women in England: a longitudinal study
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Accumulated lifecourse adversities and depressive symptoms in later life among older men and women in England: a longitudinal study
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author. Email: j.c.falkingham@soton.ac.uk

References

Hide All
Ahern, K and Brocque, RL (2005) Methodological issues in the effects of attrition: simple solutions for social scientists. Field Methods 17, 5369.
Asparouhov, T and Muthén, BO (2014) Auxiliary variables in mixture modeling: three-step approaches using Mplus. Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal 21, 329341.
Banks, J, Muriel, A and Smith, JP (2011) Attrition and health in ageing studies: evidence from ELSA and HRS. Longitudinal and Life Course Studies 2, 129.
Blazer, D (2003) Depression in late life: review and commentary. Journals of Gerontology: Medical Sciences 58A, 249265.
Breslau, N, Davis, GC, Andreski, P, Peterson, EL and Schultz, L (1997) Sex differences in posttraumatic stress disorder. Archives of General Psychiatry 54, 10441048.
Briere, J and Elliot, D (2000) Prevalence, characteristics, and long-term sequelae of natural disaster exposure in the general population. Journal of Traumatic Stress 13, 661679.
Burns, A (2015) Better Access to Mental Health Services for Older People. Available at https://www.england.nhs.uk/blog/mh-better-access/.
Chen, E, Turiano, NA, Mroczek, DK and Miller, GE (2016) Association of reports of childhood abuse and all-cause mortality rates in women. JAMA Psychiatry 73, 920927.
Graham C, Chew, Campion, J, Kaiser, P and Edwards, K (2011) Managing of Depression in Older People: Why This is Important in Primary Care. Forum for Mental Health in Primary Care. http://www.rcgp.org.uk/mental_health.aspx.
Ferraro, KF and Shippee, TP (2009) Aging and cumulative inequality: how does inequality get under the skin? The Gerontologist 49, 333343.
Fiske, A, Gatz, M and Pedersen, NL (2003) Depressive symptoms and aging: the effects of illness and non-health related events. Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences 58B, 320328.
Friedman, EM, Karlamangla, AS, Gruenewald, T, Koretz, B and Seeman, TE (2015) Early life adversity and adult biological risk profiles. Psychosomatic Medicine 77, 176185.
Goodman, LA (2002) Latent class analysis: the empirical study of latent types, latent variables, and latent structures. In Hagenaars, JA and McCutcheon, AL (eds), Applied Latent Class Analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 355.
Green, BL, Goodman, LA, Krupnick, JL, Corcoran, BL, Petty, RM, Stockton, P and Stern, NM (2000) Outcomes of single versus multiple trauma exposure in a screening sample. Journal of Traumatic Stress 13, 271286.
Hardt, J and Rutter, M (2004) Validity of adult retrospective reports of adverse childhood experiences: review of the evidence. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 45, 260273.
Health Survey for England (2007) Health Survey for England, 2005: Health of Older People. Available at https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/health-survey-for-england/.
HM Government (2018) A Connected Society – A Strategy for Tackling Loneliness – Laying the Foundations for Change. London: Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport.
Horwitz, AV, Widom, CS, McLaughlin, J and White, HR (2001) The impact of childhood abuse and neglect on adult mental health: a prospective study. Journal of Health and Social Behavior 42, 184201.
House, A, Knapp, P, Bamford, J and Vali, A (2001) Mortality at 12 and 24 months after stroke may be associated with depressive symptoms at 1 month. Stroke 32, 696701.
Karim, J, Weisz, R, Bibi, Z and Rehman, S (2015) Validation of the Eight-Item Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) among older adults. Current Psychology 34, 681692.
Kessler, RC, Aguilar-Gaxiola, S, Alonso, J, Benjet, C, Bromet, EJ, Cardoso, G, Degenhardt, L, Girolamo, G, Dinolova, RV, Ferry, F, Florescu, S, Gureje, O, Haro, JM, Huang, Y, Karam, EG, Kawakami, N, Lee, S, Lepine, JP, Levinson, D, Navarro-Mateu, F, Pennell, B, Piazza, M, Posada-Villa, J, Scott, KM, Stein, DJ, Have, MT, Torres, Y, Viana, MC, Petukhova, MV, Sampson, NA, Zaslavsky, AM and Koenen, KC on behalf of the WHO World Mental Health Survey Collaborators (2017) Trauma and PTSD in the WHO World Mental Health Surveys. European Journal of Psychotraumatology 8, 1353383.
Kessler, RC, Nelson, CB, McGonagle, KA, Liu, J, Swartz, M and Blazer, DG (1996) Comorbidity of DSM-III-R major depressive disorder in the general population: results from the US National Comorbidity Survey. British Journal of Psychiatry 168, 1730.
Kraaij, V, Arensman, E and Spinhoven, P (2002) Negative life events and depression in elderly persons: a meta-analysis. Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences 57B, 8794.
Landau, R and Litwin, H (2000) The effects of extreme early stress in very old age. Journal of Traumatic Stress 13, 473487.
Lundberg, U (2005) Stress hormones in health and illness: the roles of work and gender. Psychoneuroendocrinology 30, 10171021.
Marmot, M, Oldfield, Z, Clemens, S, Blake, M, Phelps, A, Nazroo, J, Steptoe, A, Rogers, N, Banks, J and Oskala, A (2016) English Longitudinal Study of Ageing: Waves 0–7, 1998–2015 (Data collection), 26th Edn. UK Data Service. SN: 5050.
McEwen, BS (1998) Protective and damaging effects of stress mediators. New England Journal of Medicine 338, 171179.
McManus, S, Bebbington, P, Jenkins, R and Brugha, T (eds) (2016) Mental Health and Wellbeing in England: Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey 2014. Leeds, UK: NHS Digital.
Muthén, LK and Muthén, BO (2017) Mplus User's Guide, 8th Edn. Los Angeles, CA: Muthén & Muthén.
Nazroo, JY, Edwards, AC and Brown, GW (1997) Gender differences in the onset of depression following a shared life event: a study of couples. Psychological Medicine 27, 919.
Nolen-Hoeksema, S (2001) Gender differences in depression. Current Directions in Psychological Science 10, 173176.
Nurius, PS, Green, S, Logan-Greene, P and Borja, S (2015) Life course pathways of adverse childhood experiences toward adult psychological well-being: a stress process analysis. Child Abuse and Neglect 45, 143153.
Nusslock, R and Miller, GE (2016) Early-life adversity and physical and emotional health across the lifespan: a neuroimmune network hypothesis. Society of Biological Psychiatry 80, 2332.
Office for National Statistics (ONS) (2015) National Population Projections: 2014-based Statistical Bulletin. Available at https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/populationprojections/bulletins/nationalpopulationprojections/2015-10-29-older-people.
Office for National Statistics (ONS) (2017) Population Estimates for UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland: Mid-2016. Available at https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/populationestimates/bulletins/annualmidyearpopulationestimates/mid2016.
O'Rand, AM and Hamil-Luker, J (2005) Processes of cumulative adversity: childhood disadvantage and increased risk of heart attack across the life course. Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences 60B, 117124.
Palgi, Y, Shrira, A, Ben-Ezra, M, Shiovitz-Ezra, S and Ayalon, L (2012) Self- and other-oriented potential lifetime traumatic events as predictors of loneliness in the second half of life. Aging & Mental Health 16, 423430.
Pearlin, LI, Schieman, S, Fazio, EM and Meersman, SC (2005) Stress, health, and the life course: some conceptual perspectives. Journal of Health and Social Behavior 46, 205219.
Pennix, B, Geerlings, S, Deeg, D, van Eijk, J, van Tilling, W and Beekman, A (2001) Minor and major depression and the risk of death in older persons. Archives of General Psychiatry 56, 889895.
Pietrzak, RH and Cook, JM (2013) Psychological resilience in older U.S. Veterans: results from the national health and resilience in veterans study. Depression and Anxiety 30, 432443.
Pirkola, S, Isometsä, E, Aro, H, Kestilä, L, Hämäläinen, J, Veijola, J, Kiviruusu, O and Lönnqvist, J (2005) Childhood adversities as risk factors for adult mental disorders. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 40, 769777.
Pitzer, LM and Fingerman, KL (2010) Psychosocial resources and associations between childhood physical abuse and adult well-being. Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences 65B, 425433.
Shmotkin, D and Litwin, H (2009) Cumulative adversity and depressive symptoms among older adults in Israel: the differential roles of self-oriented versus other-oriented events of potential trauma. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 44, 989997.
Shrira, A (2012) The effect of lifetime cumulative adversity on change and chronicity in depressive symptoms and quality of life in older adults. International Psychogeriatrics 24, 19881997.
Shrira, A (2014) Greater age-related decline in markers of physical, mental and cognitive health among Israeli older adults exposed to lifetime cumulative adversity. Aging & Mental Health 18, 610618.
Slavich, GM and Irwin, MR (2014) From stress to inflammation and major depressive disorder: a social signal transduction theory of depression. Psychological Bulletin 140, 774815.
Steffick, DE (2000) Documentation of Affective Functioning Measures in the Health and Retirement Study. Survey Research Center, University of Michigan. Available at https://hrs.isr.umich.edu/sites/default/files/biblio/dr-005.pdf.
Steptoe, A, Breeze, E, Banks, J and Nazroo, J (2012) Cohort profile: the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. International Journal of Epidemiology 42, 16401648.
Stone, J, Evandrou, M and Falkingham, J (2013) The transition to living alone and psychological distress in later life. Age and Ageing 42, 366372.
Stone, J, Evandrou, M, Falkingham, J and Vlachantoni, A (2015) Women's economic activity trajectories over the life course: implications for the self-rated health of women aged 64+ in England. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 69, 873879.
Taylor, SE, Klein, CL, Lewis, BP, Gruenewald, TL, Gurung, RAR and Updegraff, JA (2000) Biobehavioral responses to stress in females: tend-and-befriend, not fight-or-flight. Psychological Review 107, 411429.
Utz, RL, Caserta, M and Lund, D (2012) Grief, depressive symptoms, and physical health among recently bereaved spouses. The Gerontologist 52, 460471.
Wainwright, NW and Surtees, PG (2002) Childhood adversity, gender and depression over the life-course. Journal of Affective Disorders 72, 3344.
Ward, K, Medina, J, Mo, M and Cox, K (2009) ELSA Wave Three: Life History Interview. A User Guide to the Data. London: NatCen.
Wilkinson, R and Pickett, K (2009) The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone. London: Penguin Books.
World Health Organization (2017) Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders: Global Health Estimates. Geneva: World Health Organization.
Zethof, D, Nagelhout, GE, Rooij, M, Driezen, P, Fong, GT, Putte, B, Hummel, K, Vries, H, Thompson, ME and Willemsen, MC (2016) Attrition analysed in five waves of a longitudinal yearly survey of smokers: findings from the ITC Netherlands survey. The European Journal of Public Health 26, 693699.
Zoellner, LA, Goodwin, ML and Foa, EB (2000) PTSD severity and health perceptions in female victims of sexual assault. Journal of Traumatic Stress 13, 635649.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Ageing & Society
  • ISSN: 0144-686X
  • EISSN: 1469-1779
  • URL: /core/journals/ageing-and-society
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Type Description Title
UNKNOWN
Supplementary materials

Falkingham et al. supplementary material
Falkingham et al. supplementary material 1

 Unknown (468 KB)
468 KB

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed