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A lifecourse approach in examining the association between accumulation of adversity and mental health in older adulthood

Liu, Yiwen; Hatch, Stephani L; Patalay, Praveetha; Schott, Jonathan M; Richards, Marcus; (2023) A lifecourse approach in examining the association between accumulation of adversity and mental health in older adulthood. Journal of Affective Disorders , 339 pp. 211-218. 10.1016/j.jad.2023.07.001. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: There is evidence for a cumulative effect of adversities on mental health, however, less is known on the accumulating duration of exposure to adversity across the lifecourse on mental health in older adults. METHODS: Using data from the 1946 British birth cohort study (N = 2745), we examined associations between the accumulation of adversity (birth-63 years) and mental health (emotional symptom, life satisfaction, affective wellbeing) in older adults (63-69 years). Accumulation of adversity was assessed as the number of adversities and duration of exposure (number of lifecourse stages exposed to any, economic, psychosocial, or physical adversity). Linear regression tested their association with mental health, adjusted for sex, childhood cognition and emotional problems, and educational attainment. RESULTS: Increased number of adversities was associated with increased emotional symptoms (β = 0.08 [0.06, 0.10]), decreased life satisfaction (β = -0.14 [-0.16, -0.12]) and decreased affective wellbeing (β = -0.08 [-0.10, -0.06]). Each additional duration of exposure was associated with a 0.38 [0.12, 0.65] standard deviation (SD) increase in emotional symptoms, and a - 0.68 [-0.96, -0.39] and -0.43 SD [-0.68, -0.18] decrease in life satisfaction and affective wellbeing, respectively. Life satisfaction showed stronger associations with economic and psychosocial compared to physical adversity. LIMITATIONS: Some limitations include selective drop-out and lack of ethnic diversity. CONCLUSIONS: Efforts to improve mental health in older adults should focus on reducing the number of adversities, as well as considering previous exposure across different lifecourse stages, to prevent adversities from becoming chronic. Future research should also consider the clustering and co-occurrence of different adversities across the lifecourse.

Type: Article
Title: A lifecourse approach in examining the association between accumulation of adversity and mental health in older adulthood
Location: Netherlands
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2023.07.001
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2023.07.001
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Adversity, Lifecourse, Mental health
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Neurodegenerative Diseases
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science > Population Science and Experimental Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science > Population Science and Experimental Medicine > MRC Unit for Lifelong Hlth and Ageing
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10174220
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