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Witnessing Violence Across the Life Course, Depressive Symptoms, and Alcohol Use Among Older Persons

Publication Abstract

Colbert, Sha Juan, and Neal Krause. 2009. "Witnessing Violence Across the Life Course, Depressive Symptoms, and Alcohol Use Among Older Persons." Health Education & Behavior, 36(2): 259-277.

The purpose of this study is to see whether witnessing a very violent act at any point in the life course is associated with depressive symptoms and alcohol use in late life. The data come from a nationwide probability sample of older adults (N = 1,498). The findings reveal that witnessing violence is associated with more symptoms of depression for older women but not older men. In contrast, seeing a violent act is associated with greater alcohol consumption for older men but not older women. The results further indicate that age at first exposure to a violent act is not consistently associated with current depression or alcohol intake, suggesting that people who see something violent happen at any time in life may be at risk. The implications of these findings for designing interventions to help those who witness violent acts are discussed.

DOI:10.1177/1090198107303310 (Full Text)

Country of focus: United States.

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