Effects of negative life events and gerotranscendence on changes in mental health over three years among the 80+ population: The SONIC study

[Speaker] Masui, Yukie:1
[Co-author] Gondo, Yasuyuki:2, Nakagagawa, Takeshi:2, Ishioka, Yoshiko:3, Ogawa, Madoka:4, Kozono, Marina:2, Inagaki, Hiroki:1, Takayama, Midori:3, Katagiri, Keiko:5, Yasumoto, Saori:2, Tabuchi, Megumi:6, Kurinobu, Takeshi:1, Arai, Yasumichi:3, Ikebe, Kazunori:2, Kamide, Kei:2, Takahashi, Ryutaro:1, Ishizaki, Tatsuro:1
1:Tokyo metropolitan institute of gerontology (Japan), 2:Osaka University (Japan), 3:Keio University (Japan), 4:Hokkaido University (Japan), 5:Kobe University (Japan), 6:Kwansei Gakuin University (Japan)

Purpose: This study examines (1) whether negative life events occurred in the previous three years have effects on mental health in old age; and (2) whether the effects can be buffered by gerotranscendence. Methods: A three-year follow-up study was conducted with 551 participants aged between 79 and 81 at the first wave. Mental health and gerotranscendence were measured. Participants were asked about their mental health and whether or not negative life events of 8 kinds had occurred in the previous three years at follow-up. Results: There were significantly smaller declines in mental health in relation to experiencing negative life events, such as "serious illnesses or injuries," in the previous three years among participants in higher compared to lower gerotranscendence at the first wave. Discussion: Findings revealed a buffering effect of higher gerotranscendence in later life on the relationship of negative life events and mental health conditions over time.
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