Study results recently published in the Journal of Aging Research found that healthy older adults reported less negative thinking compared to other age groups, leading to greater life satisfaction in seniors. Stefan Sütterlin and colleagues of the University of Luxembourg (Integrative Research Unit for Social and Individual Development -- INSIDE) and the University of Würzburg (Germany) examined the complex relationship between aging and factors leading to depression.
Research suggests differences in the way age groups think can influence the onset of depression. Sufferers of negative thinking, or brooding, tend to fixate on their problems and feelings without taking action, which can intensify depressive moods and lead to the onset of depression.
Three hundred individuals (118 women), aged 15 to 87 years, were asked to rate their negative thoughts, depression and personal well-being. Researchers found that life satisfaction was negatively impacted by brooding, with participants aged 63 and above reporting less brooding compared to others.
Studies aimed at gaining a better understanding of age-associated negative thinking and life satisfaction are still needed to help researchers develop age-specific therapies for the treatment of depression.
- Stefan Sütterlin, Muirne C.S. Paap, Stana Babic, Andrea Kübler and Claus Vögele. Rumination and age: some things get better. Journal of Aging Research, 2012
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