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Chronological and subjective age differences in flourishing mental health and major depressive episode

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Chronological and subjective age differences in flourishing mental health and major depressive episode

Abstract

Mental health is more than the absence of psychopathology, but few studies use positive mental health along with a measure of past year major depressive episode (MDE). This study addresses this gap by investigating the association of MDE and flourishing mental health (FMH) with chronological age and subjective (felt and ideal) age. Data are from the Midlife in the United States random digit dialing sample of adults ages 25 to 74, collected in 1995 (n = 3032). Rates of MDE were lowest, and FMH highest, among the three oldest age cohorts (45-54, 55-64, 65-74 years). Subjective age was linked with chronological age; with age, adults tend to feel younger, and want to be an age that is younger, than their actual age. As predicted by the model of subjective age as an adaptive strategy, feeling younger was related to a lower risk of MDE and a higher risk of FMH. However, wanting to be younger was related to a lower risk of FMH and unrelated to MDE.
... Several studies have examined the relationship between SA and broad developmental outcomes like flourishing (Keyes and Westerhof, 2012), subjective well-being (Alonso Debreczeni and Bailey, 2021), and life satisfaction (Stephan et al., 2011), but fewer studies have examined the relationship between subjective well-being and specific positive psychosocial characteristics such as meaning in life, optimism, and resilience. In the available literature, younger SA has been noted to be a significant and strong predictor of positive orientation (Mirucka et al., 2016) and personal mastery (Bergland et al., 2014). ...
... Older relative SA has been associated with impairments of activities of daily living and greater depressive symptoms (Rippon and Steptoe, 2018). In another large study of adults in the US (n > 3000), feeling younger than CA was associated with a lower risk of depression and better mental health (Keyes and Westerhof, 2012). ...
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Perceived younger age is associated with positive health outcomes in existing literature. Few studies have examined these associations using a wide range of variables in large sample of adults of all ages. The objective of present study was to characterize the discrepancy between chronological age (CA) and subjective age (SA) in a large sample of community-dwelling adults across the lifespan, investigate associations with mental, physical, and cognitive health, and examine how it is related to a broad array of psychosocial variables relevant to well-being. Cross-sectional data from 1,004 individuals aged 21–100+ years from the Successful AGing Evaluation (SAGE) study were used for this analysis. Data included self-report measures of physical health (SF-36 – Physical Component), mental health composite score (created using CES-D Happiness scale, Satisfaction with Life Scale, SF-36 Mental Component, Brief Symptom Inventory Anxiety Scale, Patient Health Questionnaire-9, and Perceived Stress Scale), Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status - modified (TICS-m), and validated measures of various positive psychological variables such as meaning in life and optimism. On average, SA was 11.5 years younger than CA (SD 11.3). The discrepancy increased with CA. A younger SA compared to CA was associated with better mental and physical health in all age groups and was positively associated with measures of presence of meaning in life, successful aging, optimism, personal mastery, resilience, curiosity, hope, and social support. The association between age discrepancy and cognitive functioning was not statistically significant. These findings indicate that SA is potentially valuable for the purposes of clinical assessment and intervention, and this possibility should be investigated in future research.
... For example, the epigenetic clock ticks faster in chimpanzees than in humans [106], which is consistent with the fact that humans have about a 4-fold greater maximum lifespan that chimpanzees [107]. depressive episodes [163], while an older perceived age predicts higher depressive symptoms or a full depression in the future [164,165]. Additionally, younger subjective age is associated with improved cognitive functioning 10 years later [166] and is associated with personality traits such as openness, conscientiousness, agreeableness, and extraversion [167] (see also [154]). ...
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BACKGROUND: There is a growing consensus that chronological age (CA) is not an accurate indicator of the ageing progress and that biological age (BA) instead is a better measure of an individual's risk of age-related outcomes and a more accurate predictor of mortality than actual CA. In this context BA measures the "true" age that is an integrated result of an individual's level of damage accumulation across all levels of biological organization, along with preserved resources. The BA is plastic and depends upon epigenetics. Brain state is an important factor contributing to health-and lifespan. METHODS AND OBJECTIVE: Quantitative electroencephalography (qEEG) derived brain BA (BBA) is a suitable and promising measure of brain ageing. In the present study we aimed to show that BBA can be decelerated or even reversed in humans (N = 89) by using customized programs of nutraceutical compounds or lifestyle changes (Mean duration = 13 months). RESULTS: We observed that the BBA was younger than CA in both groups at the end of the intervention. Further, the BBA of participants in the nutraceuticals group was 2.83 years younger at the endpoint of the intervention compared with BBA score at the beginning of the intervention, while the participants' BBA of the lifestyle group scored only 0.02 years younger at the end of the intervention. These results were accompanied by improvement in mental-physical health comorbidities in both groups. Pre-intervention BBA score, as well as sex of participants were considered as confounding factors and analyzed separately. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, the obtained results support the feasibility of the goal of this study and also provide the first robust evidence that halting and reversal of brain ageing is possible in humans within a reasonable (practical) timeframe of around one year.
... In line with previous research, our study confirms that feeling younger is also associated with fewer depressive symptoms (27,57). This finding may be explained by the association of late-life resources and strategies for coping with depressive symptoms (58). ...
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Background There is increasing evidence that subjective age is an important predictor of beneficial health outcomes besides chronological age. However, little is known about the factors associated with younger subjective age. This study aimed to identify which factors are predictive of feeling younger in old age. In this context, feeling younger was defined as an individual's perception of being younger than their current chronological age. Methods Data from 4,665 community-dwelling older people were drawn from wave 7 (2020) of the German Aging Survey (DEAS), a nationally representative study in Germany. Network, mediation, and binomial logistic regression analyses were performed to reveal the associations between feeling younger and biopsychosocial factors. Results A total of 4,039 participants reported feeling younger, while 626 did not. Older chronological age, engaging in sports more frequently, a better standard of living, a better state of health, higher satisfaction with life, more positive attitudes toward one's aging, and fewer depressive symptoms are associated with feeling younger in older people. Conclusion The present study provides novel and consistent evidence regarding the association between feeling younger and biopsychosocial factors. Further research is needed to confirm these factors and identify how they can be adapted in potential intervention studies to generate the life and health circumstances that allow older people the benefit of feeling younger.
... 2 DOI: 10.1159/000524885 outcomes in the second half of life compared to chronological age [2,3]. According to those studies, a younger subjective age which is associated with a positive attitude toward one's aging [4] implies higher well-being and lower mental distress [5,6], better physical health, and decreased mortality risk [7,8]. ...
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Introduction: The current study aimed to find reciprocal effects between subjective age and functional independence during rehabilitation from osteoporotic fractures and stroke and whether these effects can be mediated by indicators of well-being. Methods: Participants were 194 older adults (mean age = 78.32 years, SD = 7.37; 64.8% women) who were hospitalized following an osteoporotic fracture or stroke. Participants completed measures of subjective age and well-being (i.e., optimism, self-esteem, and life satisfaction) several times during rehabilitation. Functional Independence Measure (FIM) was completed by nursing personnel at admission and at discharge. Results: Younger subjective age at admission predicted higher FIM scores at discharge. The reverse effect, that is, of FIM scores at admission on subjective age at discharge, was nonsignificant. Optimism during hospitalization mediated the effect of subjective age on subsequent FIM scores while self-esteem and life satisfaction did not. Sensitivity analyses further showed that the effect of subjective age on FIM was significant for both fracture and stroke patients. Discussion: The findings highlight the effect of subjective age on rehabilitation outcomes among osteoporotic fractures and stroke patients and suggest several potential mechanisms behind this effect. Rehabilitation outcomes following osteoporotic fractures or strokes could improve if subjective age and an optimistic outlook are taken into consideration.
... Unlike other subjective well-being measures, flourishing has strong links with mental health. Some authors (Keyes & Westerhof, 2012) define mental health in positive terms as high levels of emotional well-being, psychological and social functioning. Therefore, people who are flourishing have complete mental health, that is, they have high well-being, they are filled with positive emotion, and they function well psychologically and socially (Keyes, 2002). ...
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The aim of this study is to analyze the well-being of individuals who had a newborn child during the previous year and to compare their well-being with that of individuals who had children previously and with childless individuals. The sample consisted of 2008 respondents (81% women) who participated in an online survey. Respondents rated their life satisfaction, positive and negative affect, and flourishing in two time points spanning one year. 102 respondents experienced childbirth between the two time points, 673 had children before, and 1233 did not have children. The results show that life satisfaction increased between two time points in the subsample of individuals who had a child during the previous year; they also had higher life satisfaction compared to other parents and non-parents. There was no difference between the groups in affective well-being and flourishing. However, parents who had a newborn child showed a decrease in flourishing.
... For example, researchers can explore the relation of flow experiences to subjective or self-perceived age rather than chronological age. Studies have shown that the relations of flourishing, longevity, and vitality, to subjective age are as strong as (or stronger than) to chronological age (e.g., Keyes & Westerhof, 2012;Stephan et al., 2018;Westerhof et al., 2014). Given the association between the flow experiences and these wellbeing indicators, it is worth investigating whether the weak association between flow experiences and chronological age holds for subjective age. ...
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Flow experience is a psychological state characterized by simultaneous absorption, concentration, and enjoyment. Examining the change and continuity of the flow experience––an optimal state that contributes to well-being––is critical to the understanding of the lifelong trajectory of human flourishing. Nevertheless, to date there has been no systematic investigation of the relationship between age and flow experiences across adulthood. Developmental models of flow experiences suggest the continuity hypothesis that people are motivated to sustain a high level of flow experiences as long as conditions permit. We conducted two studies to investigate flow experiences among adults of different ages. Study 1 ( N = 1,162; age range 30–80) used longitudinal data from the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) project, investigating the changes in flow experiences at work over a 10-year span. Study 2 ( N = 393; age range 20–82) was an online survey that examined age-related differences in flow experiences. Both studies revealed minimal relationships between age and flow experiences. Post-hoc analyses revealed no significant moderating effect of common demographics including gender, race, and education on the age–flow relationship. Taken together, these studies elucidate the “flow profile” in adulthood that is consistent with the continuity hypothesis. We discuss relations of the findings to the literature on flow experiences and well-being.
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Resumen El presente trabajo se ocupa de evaluar las propiedades psicométricas de la Escala de florecimiento (EF) en Argentina, para ello se realizó un proceso de traducción/adaptación para el contexto local. Participaron del estudio 363 adultos con edades comprendidas entre 18 y 68 años y de ambos sexos (Mujeres = 73%, Hombres= 27%). El CFA del modelo (NNFI= .9; CFI= .95; RMSEA= .053) y la consistencia interna (α =.89; ω=.91) arrojaron resultados aceptables para la EF. Por otro lado, la validación externa se realizó estudiando la correlación con los instrumentos MHC-SF y SWLS, obteniendo valores significativos. A su vez, la validación cruzada se realizó dividiendo la muestra en mujeres y hombres, hallándose resultados que confirman la validez del instrumento. En conclusión, se considera a partir de los resultados que la escala EF es un instrumento fiable para el estudio del bienestar en población argentina. Palabras Clave Florecimiento; Validación; Bienestar. Abstract
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Introduction Older subjective age, or felt age, has been positively associated with being HIV-positive and having less than a high school education, depressive symptoms, diabetes, and medium and low aging satisfaction. To our knowledge, there is no literature exploring the association between subjective aging and depression among people living with HIV. Data from the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS) was used to understand the role that subjective aging plays on depression among people who are living with and without HIV. We hypothesized that feeling older will be negatively associated with presenting symptoms of depression among men living with HIV compared to men living without HIV following an adjustment to the model to control for covariates. Methods The MACS is an observational cohort study that follows sexual minority men living with and without HIV in four sites within the United States: Baltimore, Maryland/Washington, DC; Chicago, Illinois; Los Angeles, California; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania/Columbus, Ohio. MACS participants attend semiannual visits that collect social, behavioral, medical history, and specimens using an Audio Computer-Assisted Self-Interview and standardized clinical examinations. The study design of the MACS has been described elsewhere. From 1984 to 2018, 7,352 men have been enrolled the MACS. 1,118 of these men were included in this study from the MACS substudy, ‘Understanding Patterns of Healthy Aging Among Men Who Have Sex With Men’ , which was administered in six waves between March 2016 and September 2019. We used cross-sectional data from October 2016 to April 2017. Odds ratios (including 95% CIs) were generated using logistic regression models to test the association of subjective age with the presence of depressive symptoms (defined as a score >=16 using the Center for Epidemiological Study Depression scale). Odds ratios were adjusted for age, race/ethnicity, educational attainment, smoking status, history of hypertension, renal disease, dyslipidemia, liver disease, diabetes and HIV status. Results After adjusting for covariates, older age discrepancy was associated with higher odds of depressive symptoms (vs younger discrepancy; OR: 4.00; 95% CI: 2.39-6.69). Increasing age (5-year increase; OR: 0.81; 95% CI: 0.72-0.91) was associated with lower odds of depressive symptoms. Lower educational attainment was associated with higher odds of depressive symptoms (less than high school degree vs graduate school; OR: 5.33; 95% CI: 1.96-14.53) (high school vs graduate school: OR: 1.93; 95% CI: 1.10-3.37). There was no statistically significant association of HIV status or other covariates with risk of depressive symptoms. Conclusion Our findings demonstrated a statistically significant positive association between older subjective age (independent of increasing chronological age) and greater risk of depressive symptoms. We also found that having a high school or less than a high school education also increased this risk. Statistical significance was not present based on HIV status or other covariates in the adjusted model. Health care professionals should be aware of their patient’s perception of aging in order to address depressive symptoms related to feeling older. Counteracting a person feeling older can be achieved through exercising regularly, prioritizing preventive care, maintaining a vibrant social life, and having an optimistic attitude on the years ahead of them.
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The construct of age occupies a curious position in mainstream sociology: It is omnipresent but theoretically underdeveloped. The most prevalent approaches—age as control variable and age as life course—elide the aspect of age most relevant to the discipline, namely its operation as a system of inequality. Building on the foundation laid by scholars of life course sociology, age studies, and gerontology, I propose a new framework for thinking about age. The framework integrates insights from these fields and identifies inequality as a key axis on which several dimensions of age turn, thus placing age squarely in the domain of sociological research centering on inequalities. The article concludes with a discussion of how this framework can enhance the empirical and theoretical contributions of age-focused research. In particular, research that delves into how institutions, performances, and identities reproduce age inequality flows from this framework and constitutes a valuable contribution in its own right. Moreover, such an orientation positions the sociology of age as integral to the discipline, given its commitment to understanding how inequalities infuse social life. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Sociology, Volume 48 is July 2022. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.
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The factors influencing the identification of oneself as “old” have been studied extensively for people in their later life. This study extends the analysis to the middle years of life, when transitions may occur from age identities of young to middle-aged, as well as from middle-aged to old. It replicates previous findings for the effects of chronological age and poor health on older age identity. The study also demonstrates that having children is associated with a middle-aged (rather than young) identification, while not being married (largely due to widowhood or divorce) is associated with labeling oneself as old (rather than middle-aged). In the comparisons both of persons who identify themselves as young rather than middle-aged, and middle-aged rather than old, the older category of people have less happiness and lower life satisfaction, suggesting that these transitions are experienced negatively.
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A combination of recent international surveys establishes surprising universality of the subjective and ideal age self-construal constructs appraised in years. Results showed that in 18 culturally disparate countries, age-of-birth was older than subjective/cognitive age self-construal; in 15 nations ideal/ desired ages were measured as well, and those were even younger. Implications of the construct's universality , as well as the reliability, validity, and equivalence of the different measurements of age identity in a cross-cultural research context, are discussed from a global perspective.