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Social productivity and depressive symptoms in early old age-results from the GAZEL study.

Abstract : OBJECTIVES: We test associations of frequency of performing three types of socially productive activities (voluntary work, informal help and caring for a person) with depressive symptoms in older people. Are depressive symptoms negatively associated with frequency in all three types or rather in those activities that are characterized by a high degree of autonomy and perceived control? METHODS: Data on social activities and frequency of performance were collected in the frame of the annual follow-up of the French GAZEL cohort study in 2005. Depressive symptoms were measured by the CES-D scale. Perceived control was assessed by two items of a quality of life measure (CASP-19). Total of 14477 respondents aged 52-66 years completed a standardized questionnaire. Linear regression models were calculated adjusting for important confounders including self-rated health assessed during the previous year. RESULTS: In activities characterized by high autonomy (in particular voluntary work) a negative association of frequency with depressive symptoms was observed, whereas the reverse effect was found in the type of activity with low autonomy (care for a person). Perceived control mediated in part the association of frequency of activity with depressive symptoms. CONCLUSION: Being often socially productive in early old age may contribute to well-being to the extent that autonomy and perceived control are given.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, October 28, 2009 - 11:21:56 AM
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Morten Wahrendorf, Céline Ribet, Marie Zins, Johanes Siegrist. Social productivity and depressive symptoms in early old age-results from the GAZEL study.. Aging & Mental Health, 2008, 12 (3), pp.310-6. ⟨10.1080/13607860802120805⟩. ⟨inserm-00426862⟩



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