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ERIC Number: EJ929935
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jun
Pages: 27
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 87
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0037-7732
The Social Structuring of Mental Health over the Adult Life Course: Advancing Theory in the Sociology of Aging
Clarke, Philippa; Marshall, Victor; House, James; Lantz, Paula
Social Forces, v89 n4 p1287-1313 Jun 2011
The sociology of aging draws on a broad array of theoretical perspectives and social theories from several disciplines, but rarely has it developed its own theories or theoretical perspectives. We build on past work to further advance and empirically test a model of mental health framed in terms of structural theorizing and situated within the life course perspective. Whereas most prior research has been based on cross-sectional data, we utilize four waves of data from a nationally representative sample of American adults (Americans' Changing Lives Study) collected prospectively over a 15-year period and find that education, employment, and marital status, as well as their consequences for income and health, effectively explain the increase in depressive symptoms after age 65. We also found significant cohort differences in age trajectories of mental health that were partly explained by historical increases in education. We demonstrate that a purely structural theory can take us far in explaining later life mental health. (Contains 7 notes, 7 figures, and 3 tables.)
University of North Carolina Press. 116 South Boundary Street, P.O. Box 2288, Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2288. Tel: 800-848-6224; Tel: 919-966-7449; Fax: 919-962-2704; e-mail: uncpress@unc.edu; Web site: http://uncpress.unc.edu/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A