Date of Award

2007

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours

School

School of Psychology

Faculty

Faculty of Computing, Health and Science

First Advisor

Dr Deborah Gardner

Abstract

Extensive research has been carried out in the field of depression and its relation to age and gender. This article reviews relevant literature in the field of depression, rumination and dependency and the relationships of these to age and gender. It has been shown in numerous studies that depression, rumination and dependency are related and exist in comorbidity with each other. This article also reviews some of the research that has been conducted on age and gender with relation to rumination and dependency. It has been found in relation to rumination, dependency and depression that women are more susceptible than men to these conditions in the general population. As well as the possibility that age may be the cause of difference found in the rates of depression, rumination and dependency research has found that physical illness plays a large role in predicting the occurrence of these conditions. This article looks extensively at the research on the older adult population in regards to depression, rumination and interpersonal dependency. This review also addresses the possible flaws of the studies reviewed and where future research can be focused. Depression has become a major focus in mental health in previous years and has been thought to be under-detected in an older adult population. Along with depression, maladaptive rumination and interpersonal dependency have also brought about large amounts of research in previous years but have received little attention in the older adult population. Objectives: This study looked at the relationships among depression, maladaptive rumination, adaptive rumination and interpersonal dependency in an older adult sample. It also aimed to determine whether gender differences exist across the combination of depression, maladaptive rumination, adaptive rumination and interpersonal dependency in the older adult population. Method: This study involved 116 participants over the age of 65 years. The participants responded to a postal questionnaire package. Results: The results found no significant difference in gender between the measures. The results found a strong relationship between depression and maladaptive rumination. It also found a strong relationship between depression and interpersonal dependency. Conclusions: The results suggest that gender is not a significant factor in determining depression, maladaptive rumination, adaptive rumination and/ or interpersonal dependency, in an older adult population.

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