Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Psychology and Social Science


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science

First Supervisor

Dr Eyal Gringart

Second Supervisor

Dr Deborah Gardner

Third Supervisor

Dr David Ryder


Most workers adjust well to retirement, but some experience depression due to poor adjustment. No evidence-based treatments were identified that targeted the developmental needs of this complex transition. In phase 1, a treatment manual (IPT-RM) was developed. The manual comprised an adaptation of Interpersonal Psychotherapy. In phase 2, a pilot study was conducted to determine the treatment’s feasibility. A series of non-experimental AB singlecase studies was conducted with nine retirees. All research participants’ depressive symptoms receded into the non-depressed range by the end of the study. The IPT-RM treatment manual was developed to a Stage 1 level, which incorporated peer-reviewed literature and clinical knowledge. Practical implications of the research for future activities include (a) prevention: conduct psychosocial retirement preparation workshops and other delivery formats, such as internet, DVD, and print media and (b) intervention: train psychologists in issues related to retirement adjustment. Future research could trial IPT-RM at a Stage 2 level of evidence-based treatment manual development. Furthermore, a retirement adjustment scale could be developed to predict which retirees are at greatest risk of experiencing depression due to a poor adjustment to retirement.