Social determinants of depression in later life

Schaan, Barbara

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URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-330381
Document Type: Doctoral dissertation
Year of publication: 2013
Place of publication: Mannheim
University: Universität Mannheim
Evaluator: Wolf, Christof
Date of oral examination: 22 July 2013
Publication language: English
Institution: School of Social Sciences > Soziologie (Wolf 2009-)
Außerfakultäre Einrichtungen > Leibniz-Institut für Sozialwissenschaften (GESIS)
Subject: 300 Social sciences, sociology, anthropology
Subject headings (SWD): Altersdepression , Altern , Verwitwung , Sozialstruktur , Soziale Herkunft , Bildung , Rente
Keywords (English): Depression , Ageing , Europe , Widowhood , Retirement , Education , Social Origins
Abstract: This dissertation thesis adds to the understanding of the social etiology of depression in later life from a theory based, empirical perspective. By means of three different research questions, the essays of this dissertation shed light on the social causes of depression from different angles: the associations between widowhood and depression as well as retirement and depression are used as examples for the impact of critical life events on mental health in later life. A third research question investigates on the life course perspective on depression in later life by examining the relationship between family background in childhood, personal educational attainment, and depressive symptoms. Critical life events and the life course perspective serve as frameworks within which the importance of social roles and resources as well as subjective perceptions of objective situations is examined. The common database used in the empirical analyses is the “Survey of Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe” (SHARE), a longitudinal survey that combines extensive cross-national information on the socio-economic status, health and family relationships of Europe’s elderly population.

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