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What types of social interactions reduce the risk of psychological distress? Fixed effects longitudinal analysis of a cohort of 30,271 middle-to-older aged Australians

Journal Article


Abstract


  • Background

    Research on the impact of social interactions on psychological distress tends to be limited to particular forms of support, cross-sectional designs and by the spectre of omitted variables bias.

    Method

    A baseline sample with 3.4±0.95 years follow-up time was extracted from the 45 and Up Study. Change in the risk of psychological distress (Kessler Psychological Distress Scale) was assessed using fixed effects logistic regressions in relation to the number of times in the past week a participant: i) spent time with friends or family they did not live with; ii) talked to friends, relatives or others on the telephone; iii) attended meetings at social clubs or religious groups; and the count of people outside their home, but within one hour travel-time, participants felt close to. Separate models were fitted for men and women, adjusting for age, income, economic and couple status.

    Results

    An increase in the number of social interactions was associated with a reduction in the risk of psychological distress, with some gender differences. Interactions with friends or family were important for women (adjusted OR 0.85, 95%CI 0.74, 0.98, p=0.024), whereas telephone calls were effective among men (adjusted OR 0.83, 95%CI 0.72, 0.96, p=0.011). Strong effects for the number of people that can be relied on were observed for men and women, but attendance at clubs and groups was not. No age-specific effects were observed.

    Limitations

    No indicator of positive mental health.

    Conclusions

    Policies targeting greater social interactions in middle-to-older age may help protect mental health.

Publication Date


  • 2016

Citation


  • Feng, X. & Astell-Burt, T. (2016). What types of social interactions reduce the risk of psychological distress? Fixed effects longitudinal analysis of a cohort of 30,271 middle-to-older aged Australians. Journal of Affective Disorders, 204 99-102.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84975756838

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/sspapers/3011

Number Of Pages


  • 3

Start Page


  • 99

End Page


  • 102

Volume


  • 204

Abstract


  • Background

    Research on the impact of social interactions on psychological distress tends to be limited to particular forms of support, cross-sectional designs and by the spectre of omitted variables bias.

    Method

    A baseline sample with 3.4±0.95 years follow-up time was extracted from the 45 and Up Study. Change in the risk of psychological distress (Kessler Psychological Distress Scale) was assessed using fixed effects logistic regressions in relation to the number of times in the past week a participant: i) spent time with friends or family they did not live with; ii) talked to friends, relatives or others on the telephone; iii) attended meetings at social clubs or religious groups; and the count of people outside their home, but within one hour travel-time, participants felt close to. Separate models were fitted for men and women, adjusting for age, income, economic and couple status.

    Results

    An increase in the number of social interactions was associated with a reduction in the risk of psychological distress, with some gender differences. Interactions with friends or family were important for women (adjusted OR 0.85, 95%CI 0.74, 0.98, p=0.024), whereas telephone calls were effective among men (adjusted OR 0.83, 95%CI 0.72, 0.96, p=0.011). Strong effects for the number of people that can be relied on were observed for men and women, but attendance at clubs and groups was not. No age-specific effects were observed.

    Limitations

    No indicator of positive mental health.

    Conclusions

    Policies targeting greater social interactions in middle-to-older age may help protect mental health.

Publication Date


  • 2016

Citation


  • Feng, X. & Astell-Burt, T. (2016). What types of social interactions reduce the risk of psychological distress? Fixed effects longitudinal analysis of a cohort of 30,271 middle-to-older aged Australians. Journal of Affective Disorders, 204 99-102.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84975756838

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/sspapers/3011

Number Of Pages


  • 3

Start Page


  • 99

End Page


  • 102

Volume


  • 204