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Depressive symptoms in later life: differential impact of social support and motivational processes on depression in individuals with and without cognitive impairment


Fankhauser, Sonja; Drobetz, Reinhard; Mortby, Moyra; Maercker, Andreas; Forstmeier, Simon (2014). Depressive symptoms in later life: differential impact of social support and motivational processes on depression in individuals with and without cognitive impairment. European Journal of Ageing, 11(4):321-332.

Abstract

This study investigates the role of a motivational process based on a composite of four subcomponents (self-efficacy, decision regulation, activation regulation and motivation regulation), as a mediator of the relationship between social support and depression assessed with the Geriatric Depression Scale in cognitively impaired and unimpaired individuals. Participants were 229 adults with a mean age of 74 years (range: 52–94 years). The sample comprised 64 participants diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), 47 participants diagnosed with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and a group of 118 participants without any cognitive impairment. In this cross-sectional study, bivariate correlations and linear regression models were used to assess the association between the predictor variables and depression. Linear regression models were controlled for age, gender, education, cognitive status, cognitive impairment and activities. In the total sample, social support (β = −0.15, p < 0.05) and motivational processes (β = −0.41, p < 0.001) were significantly associated with depression; the impact of social support was mediated by motivational processes. While motivational processes were associated with depression in all three groups (no impairment: β = −0.61, p < 0.001; MCI: β = −0.28, p < 0.05; early AD: β = −0.30, p < 0.06), social support lost significance (no impairment: β = −0.36, p < 0.001; MCI: β = 0.07, p = 0.59; early AD: β = −0.08, p = 0.62). Based on these findings, it can be argued that the impact of social support on depressive symptoms is attenuated by cerebral deterioration in cognitively impaired individuals, while motivational processes remain relevant.

Abstract

This study investigates the role of a motivational process based on a composite of four subcomponents (self-efficacy, decision regulation, activation regulation and motivation regulation), as a mediator of the relationship between social support and depression assessed with the Geriatric Depression Scale in cognitively impaired and unimpaired individuals. Participants were 229 adults with a mean age of 74 years (range: 52–94 years). The sample comprised 64 participants diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), 47 participants diagnosed with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and a group of 118 participants without any cognitive impairment. In this cross-sectional study, bivariate correlations and linear regression models were used to assess the association between the predictor variables and depression. Linear regression models were controlled for age, gender, education, cognitive status, cognitive impairment and activities. In the total sample, social support (β = −0.15, p < 0.05) and motivational processes (β = −0.41, p < 0.001) were significantly associated with depression; the impact of social support was mediated by motivational processes. While motivational processes were associated with depression in all three groups (no impairment: β = −0.61, p < 0.001; MCI: β = −0.28, p < 0.05; early AD: β = −0.30, p < 0.06), social support lost significance (no impairment: β = −0.36, p < 0.001; MCI: β = 0.07, p = 0.59; early AD: β = −0.08, p = 0.62). Based on these findings, it can be argued that the impact of social support on depressive symptoms is attenuated by cerebral deterioration in cognitively impaired individuals, while motivational processes remain relevant.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:23 Jun 2014 15:39
Last Modified:30 Aug 2017 13:39
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1613-9372
Additional Information:The final publication is available at link.springer.com
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10433-014-0311-2
PubMed ID:28804338

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