Depression among older adults before and during the pandemic: Follow-up assessment of a three-wave longitudinal observation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

Previous studies have documented the average impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on depressive symptoms among the older population. However, discerning specific individuals at a higher risk and developing targeted support based on the significant average effect has proven challenging. In response to this gap, this study explored the influence of personal histories, encompassing pre-existing depression and personal depression trajectories, as well as personal experiences such as pandemic-related financial and health impacts, on deviations in individual depression curves during the pandemic. The results of the study indicated that individuals with pre-existing depressive symptoms or those affected by pandemic-related financial and health challenges experienced an upward deviation from their original depression trajectory, signifying a more severe level of depression during the pandemic. Interestingly, individuals who demonstrated a steeper growth in depression prior to the pandemic exhibited less severe depressive symptoms during this period, showcasing a downward deviation in their personal depression trajectory. These findings contribute valuable insights into the diverse personal factors driving depression during the pandemic. They also provide guidance on prioritizing the allocation of social support resources to effectively manage depression among the older population. Copyright © 2024 The Author(s).

Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Psychology
Early online dateJan 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Jan 2024

Citation

Zhu, A. Y. F., & Chou, K. L. (2024). Depression among older adults before and during the pandemic: Follow-up assessment of a three-wave longitudinal observation. Current Psychology. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-023-05601-1

Keywords

  • Depression
  • Older adults
  • Pandemic
  • Financial impact
  • Physical health

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