Do self-referent metacognition and residential context predict depressive symptoms across late-life span? A developmental study in an Italian sample

Maria Chiara Fastame*, Paul Kenneth Hitchcott, Maria Pietronilla Penna

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: There is controversial evidence concerning the variables favoring depression in community-dwelling elderly individuals. This study mainly investigates the impact of lifestyle, residential environment, cognitive efficiency and social desirability in predicting self-assessed depressive signs in late adult span.

METHOD: One hundred forty-nine elders were recruited in Northern Italy and Sardinia - an Italian island characterized by the longevity of people living in the inner areas. Participants were presented a battery of questionnaires assessing cognitive efficiency and self-referent measures of depression, metacognition and social desirability.

RESULTS: A hierarchical regression analysis showed that residential environment was the most effective predictor of depressive symptoms, along with gardening and spending time for hobbies. In contrast, social desirability and metacognitive scores played a minor role in predicting mental health. An analysis of variance showed that Sardinian elders showed fewer signs of depression than age-matched elders residing in Northern Italy.

CONCLUSION: The Sardinian residential environment is a strong predictor of preserved mental health in late adulthood. In contrast, self-rated metacognitive efficiency and social desirability play a very marginal role in predicting depression among the elderly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)698-704
Number of pages7
JournalAging and Mental Health
Volume19
Issue number8
Early online date25 Sep 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging/ethnology
  • Depression/ethnology
  • Female
  • Human Development/physiology
  • Humans
  • Italy/ethnology
  • Life Style/ethnology
  • Male
  • Metacognition/physiology
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Self Efficacy
  • Social Desirability

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