The Great Recession, Life Events, and Mental Health of Older Adults

Rachel Pruchno, Allison R. Heid, Maureen Wilson-Genderson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Historical events and personal experiences have the potential to alter the way people age. Using a life-course model, we examined how the Economic Recession of 2008 and experienced life events affected the mental health of 3,393 older adults in New Jersey. Data collected between 2006 and 2012 revealed a significant increase in mean depressive symptoms. Multinomial logistic regression analyses indicated that people with incident depression were more likely to have lost a job, become a caregiver, experienced a major illness, or have a family member with a major illness than people with no depression. Compared with the incident depression group, those with remitted depression were less likely to report having lost a job or experienced a major illness. Modeling the effects of individual life events and the economic recession on depression enriches understanding about the association between macro socioeconomic events, life events, and the mental health of older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)294-312
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Aging and Human Development
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aging
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


Dive into the research topics of 'The Great Recession, Life Events, and Mental Health of Older Adults'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this