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Linda Waite, Health & Well-Being of Adults over 60

Neal Krause photo

A descriptive epidemiology of lifetime trauma and the physical health status of older adults

Publication Abstract

Krause, Neal, B.A. Shaw, and J. Cairney. 2004. "A descriptive epidemiology of lifetime trauma and the physical health status of older adults." Psychology and Aging, 19(4): 637-648.

Three issues are evaluated in this study. The 1st involves examining the relationship between exposure to trauma over the life course and physical health status in old age. The 2nd has to do with seeing whether the relationship between trauma and health varies across 3 cohorts of older adults: the young-old (ages 65-74), the old-old (ages 75-84). and the oldest old (age 85 and over). The 3rd issue involves seeing whether the age at which a trauma was encountered is related to health in late life. Data from a nationwide survey of older people (N = 1,518) reveal that trauma is associated with worse health. Moreover, the young-old appear to be at greatest risk. Finally, data suggest that trauma arising between the ages of 18 and 30 years, as well as ages 31 to 64 years, has the strongest relationship with current health.

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