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The Role of Neuroticism and Conscientiousness on Mortality Risk in Older Adults After Child and Spouse Bereavement
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4179-771X
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6532-3877
2016 (English)In: Aging & Mental Health, ISSN 1360-7863, E-ISSN 1364-6915, Vol. 20, no 6, 559-566 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective: Bereavement effects on mortality risk were investigated in 1150 randomly selected participants, aged 60-104, in the Swedish National Study of Aging and Care.

Method: Cox proportional hazards models, controlling for age, gender, functional ability, the personality traits neuroticism and conscientiousness as well as time since the latest loss were used to predict mortality risk.

Results: Having lost a child, spouse or both child and spouse did not predict mortality risk. An indirect link between bereavement and mortality was found showing for each year since loss the mortality risk decreased by about 1%. Neuroticism, but not conscientiousness, was associated with mortality risk, with a small-effect size.

Conclusions: The different bereavements did not predict mortality risk while an indirect link was found showing that mortality risk decreased with time.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge , 2016. Vol. 20, no 6, 559-566 p.
Keyword [en]
loss/bereavement/life events, mortality risk, personality
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Social Sciences, Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-42899DOI: 10.1080/13607863.2015.1031638ISI: 000372119100001PubMedID: 25856539Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84961212316OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-42899DiVA: diva2:808319
Available from: 2015-04-28 Created: 2015-04-28 Last updated: 2017-02-16Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Surviving the loss of a child, a spouse, or both: Implications on life satisfaction and mortality in older ages
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Surviving the loss of a child, a spouse, or both: Implications on life satisfaction and mortality in older ages
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Losing a loved one – a child or a spouse –is described as one of the most stressful or negative experience of a person’s life. Aging is associated with a higher risk of the death of close family members, yet few studies have investigated the impact of such losses on different health outcomes either by type of loss or by the combined loss of both a child and a spouse. This thesis is based on three studies examining the effect of bereavement on the health of older adults who have lost a child, spouse, or both and whether the different losses were associated with Life Satisfaction (LS) or mortality. The sample was collected from the Swedish National Study of Aging and Care (SNAC).

The results showed that the loss of a child, spouse or both was experienced as among the three most important negative life events in the bereaved groups. About 70% of those bereaved of a child or a spouse mentioned these losses as among their three most important negative life experiences. In the child-and-spouse-bereaved group, 48% mentioned both losses while 40% mentioned only the loss of a child or a spouse, but not both. However, only marginally effects on LS and mortality after child, spouse or child-spouse bereavement in older adults was found. Longer time since the loss was associated with higher LS and lower mortality risk, and type of loss did not seem to determine LS or mortality. Gender differences were found: child-, spouse and child-and-spouse-bereaved men had lower LS than the corresponding groups of bereaved women, and furthermore, child-bereaved men had an increased mortality risk compared to child-bereaved women. Finally, significantly more women in the child-and-spouse-bereaved group compared to the men in this group, mentioned the loss of their child but not the spouse, among the three most important negative life events.

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Växjö: Linnaeus University Press, 2016. 96 p.
Series
Linnaeus University Dissertations, 250/2016
Keyword
negative life events, child and spouse loss, bereavement, older adults
National Category
Applied Psychology
Research subject
Social Sciences, Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-52215 (URN)978-91-88357-16-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-05-20, Wicksell, Hus K, Växjö, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-04-27 Created: 2016-04-25 Last updated: 2017-02-16Bibliographically approved

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