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Age and gender differences in the influence of social support on mental health : a longitudinal fixed-effects analysis using 13 annual waves of the HILDA cohort

Milner, A., Krnjacki, L. and LaMontagne, A.D. 2016, Age and gender differences in the influence of social support on mental health : a longitudinal fixed-effects analysis using 13 annual waves of the HILDA cohort, Public health, vol. 140, pp. 172-178, doi: 10.1016/j.puhe.2016.06.029.

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Title Age and gender differences in the influence of social support on mental health : a longitudinal fixed-effects analysis using 13 annual waves of the HILDA cohort
Author(s) Milner, A.
Krnjacki, L.
LaMontagne, A.D.ORCID iD for LaMontagne, A.D. orcid.org/0000-0002-5811-5906
Journal name Public health
Volume number 140
Start page 172
End page 178
Total pages 7
Publisher Elsevier
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2016-11
ISSN 1476-5616
Keyword(s) Age
Gender
Longitudinal analysis
MHI-5
Mental health
Social support
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Public, Environmental & Occupational Health
DEPRESSIVE SYMPTOMS
OLDER-ADULTS
PEER SUPPORT
LONELINESS
VALIDITY
PEOPLE
TIES
DISTINCTIONS
ADOLESCENCE
PREVENTION
Summary OBJECTIVES: Perceived social support is associated with better mental health. There has been limited attention to how these relationships are modified by age and gender. We assessed this topic using 13 years of cohort data. STUDY DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. METHODS: The outcome was the Mental Health Inventory-5 (MHI-5), a reliable and valid screening instrument for mood disorders. The main exposure was a social support scale composed of 10 items. We used longitudinal fixed-effects regression modelling to investigate within-person changes in mental health. Analytic models controlled for within-person sources of bias. We controlled for time-related factors by including them into regression modelling. RESULTS: The provision of higher levels of social support was associated with greater improvements in mental health for people aged under 30 years than for older age groups. The mental health of females appeared to benefit slightly more from higher levels of social support than males. Improvements in the MHI-5 were on a scale that could be considered clinically significant. CONCLUSIONS: The benefits of social support for young people may be connected to age-related transitions in self-identity and peer friendship networks. Results for females may reflect their tendency to place greater emphasis on social networks than males.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.puhe.2016.06.029
Field of Research 1117 Public Health And Health Services
Socio Economic Objective 920209 Mental Health Services
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, The Royal Society for Public Health
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30085936

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Health and Social Development
Population Health
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