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Cognitive reappraisal and the association between depressive symptoms and perceived social support among older adults.

Authors
  • Sachs-Ericsson, Natalie1
  • Carr, Dawn2
  • Sheffler, Julia3
  • Preston, Thomas J1
  • Kiosses, Dimitris4
  • Hajcak, Greg1
  • 1 Department of Psychology, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, USA.
  • 2 Department of Sociology, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, USA.
  • 3 Center for Translational Behavioral Science, Behavioral Sciences and Social Medicine, College of Medicine, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, USA.
  • 4 Department of Clinical Psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, NY, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Aging & Mental Health
Publisher
Informa UK (Taylor & Francis)
Publication Date
Mar 01, 2021
Volume
25
Issue
3
Pages
453–461
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1080/13607863.2019.1698516
PMID: 31876170
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

There is an association between depression and diminished social support; indeed, interpersonal dysfunction is often a central feature of depression. The purpose of this study is to examine the role that an emotion regulation (ER) strategy, cognitive reappraisal, plays in influencing the association between depressive symptoms and perceived social support in older adults. Data for this cross-sectional study come from a community-based survey of older adults (60+, N = 910). We examined the effects of depressive symptoms and cognitive reappraisal on perceived social support. We then examined the potential moderating role of cognitive reappraisal on the association between depressive symptoms and perceived social support. Depressive symptoms were associated with lower levels of perceived social support. Cognitive reappraisal was associated with higher levels of perceived social support. Cognitive reappraisal moderated the negative consequences of depressive symptoms on perceived social support. Whereas depressive symptoms had a negative effect on perceived social support, the negative effect was greater for those with lower levels of cognitive reappraisal compared to those with higher levels of cognitive reappraisal. ER strategies may play a role in attenuating the negative consequences of depressive symptoms on social support in older age. It may be possible to help individuals maintain social support in later life, even in the face of mental health challenges, if they cultivate ER skills.

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