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Holistic Wellness In Older Adulthood: Group Differences Based On Age And Mental Health

Matthew C. Fullen, Darcy Haag Granello

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Purpose: To understand how demographic variables and depression symptoms relate to the prevalence of wellness, resilience, and age perception within a sample of community-dwelling older adults. Design: In all, 200 residents across 12 senior housing sites were surveyed. Research questions included the following: (1) Do group differences exist in wellness, resilience, and age perception based on age, sex, race, education, and depression symptoms? (2) Which profile of variables is most strongly associated with self-rated depression among older adults? Method: Multivariate analyses of variance were used to examine group differences. A discriminant analysis demonstrated which variables comprised the profile of individuals who ascribed to depression symptoms. Findings: Younger respondents (i.e., age 55-70) had significantly lower levels of wellness (η2 = .034) and resilience (η2 = .052). Respondents suffering from depression symptoms had lower levels of wellness (η2 = .155), resilience (η2 = .163), and positive age perception (η2 = .067) and higher rates of negative age perception (η2 = .052). The discriminant analysis correctly categorized 75.3% of the cases related to depression symptoms, and resilience and certain forms of wellness were most relevant. Conclusions: The current study sheds light into within-group differences in wellness, resilience, and age perception that depend on variables such as age and depression.