Coping, depressive feelings and gender differences in late life widowhood
Bennett, K. M., Smith, P. T. and Hughes, G. M. (2005) Coping, depressive feelings and gender differences in late life widowhood. Aging & Mental Health, 9 (4). pp. 348-353. ISSN 1360-7863
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1080/13607860500089609
The study investigated the relationship between depressive feelings and coping amongst older widowed men and women. Participants were interviewed about their affective experiences of widowhood and completed two depression questionnaire assessments, the Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression Scale ( SAD) and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale ( HADS). Participants were assessed as either coping or not coping. The results showed that both measures were effective at differentiating those who coped (Copers) from those who did not (Non-Copers) in the sample as a whole. Amongst the widows the HADS significantly differentiated the two groups. Amongst men, neither measure significantly distinguished Copers from Non-Copers. However, an examination of the interviews suggested that widowers reported depressive feelings significantly more often than widows. The results suggest that depressive feelings are associated with non-coping in older widowed people. There is also evidence to suggest that widows and widowers respond differentially to assessment measures.