Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gender, age, place of residence influence development of depressive symptoms among elderly, study indicates

Date:
May 22, 2014
Source:
Springer Science+Business Media
Summary:
Gender, age and place of residence influence development of depressive symptoms among older people, new research shows. Residents of the Italian island of Sardinia are known for their longevity. Now, a new study also shows that elderly Sardinians are less depressed and generally are in a better mental frame of mind than peers living elsewhere.

Italian study shows how gender, age and place of residence influence development of depressive symptoms among older people

Residents of the Italian island of Sardinia are known for their longevity. Now, a new study also shows that elderly Sardinians are less depressed and generally are in a better mental frame of mind than peers living elsewhere. The study, led by Maria Chiara Fastame and Maria Pietronilla Penna of the University of Cagliari in Italy and Paul Hitchcott from the Southampton Solent University in UK, is published in Springer's journal Applied Research in Quality of Life.

Various tests to measure the mental state and capacity of elderly people were performed on 191 cognitively healthy native-born residents between the ages of 60 years and 99 years old. They were recruited from the rural areas of Lombardy in Northern Italy, from the Sardinian city of Sassari and the agro-pastoral villages of Bargagia and Ogliastra on the Mediterranean island. These areas were chosen because of the high prevalence of centenarians who live on the isle. Fastame and colleagues showed in a previous study that residents from Ogliastra enjoy greater levels of psychological well-being than those of Lombardy. Her team now wanted to find out if depression among the elderly was influenced by factors such as gender, marital status, age, lifestyle choices, levels of brain functioning and the environment.

Findings from the latest study highlight the effect that one's region of residence has on psychological well-being. It was noted that the Sardinian way of life trumps all else, with older Sardinians being less depressed and experiencing higher levels of personal satisfaction and coping strategies than is true for the norm. In contrast, the elderly from Northern Italy struggled with depression.

These findings are ascribed to the fact that elderly people from Sardinia, and especially those from Ogliastra, are physically active until late in life and feel more valued, respected and supported by younger generations. In turn, elderly Sardinians living in Sassari benefit from higher levels of wealth and physical health. They have mental health services nearby, and are involved in ongoing social, recreational and cultural activities.

More symptoms of depression were noted among women than men; and city dwellers reported more symptoms of depression than those from rural areas. Also, very old participants between 75 and 99 years old tended to be more depressed than those between 65 and 74 years old.

The researchers expressed worry about the marked signs of depression noted among residents of Northern Italy. They advise that psychology-based intervention programs be implemented to help strengthen the self-image and self-esteem of the elderly living in these areas, to ultimately improve the quality of their later life and to ward off feelings of depression.

"Positive aging is more evident in Sardinia, especially in rural areas, where the maintenance of an adequate social status and physical activity help guarantee a positive level of mental health in later life," conclude Fastame and her colleagues.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Springer Science+Business Media. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Maria Chiara Fastame, Maria Pietronilla Penna, Paul Kenneth Hitchcott. Mental Health in Late Adulthood: What Can Preserve It? Applied Research in Quality of Life, 2014; DOI: 10.1007/s11482-014-9323-5

Cite This Page:

Springer Science+Business Media. "Gender, age, place of residence influence development of depressive symptoms among elderly, study indicates." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140522104852.htm>.
Springer Science+Business Media. (2014, May 22). Gender, age, place of residence influence development of depressive symptoms among elderly, study indicates. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140522104852.htm
Springer Science+Business Media. "Gender, age, place of residence influence development of depressive symptoms among elderly, study indicates." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140522104852.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) More and more studies are showing positive benefits to playing video games, but the jury is still out on brain training programs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Spouse's Personality May Influence Your Earnings

Your Spouse's Personality May Influence Your Earnings

Newsy (Sep. 26, 2014) Research from Washington University suggest people with conscientious spouses have greater career success. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can A Blood Test Predict Psychosis Risk?

Can A Blood Test Predict Psychosis Risk?

Newsy (Sep. 26, 2014) Researchers say certain markers in the blood can predict risk of psychosis later in the life. The test can aid in early treatment for the condition. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Harpist Soothes Gorillas, Orangutans With Music

Harpist Soothes Gorillas, Orangutans With Music

AP (Sep. 25, 2014) Teri Tacheny, a harpist, has a loyal following of fans who appreciate her soothing music. Every month, gorillas, orangutans and monkeys amble down to hear her play at the Como Park Zoo in Minnesota. (Sept. 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins