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Mental Health and Illness In Relation to Physical Health Across the Lifespan

  • Sanne M. A. Lamers
  • Gerben J. Westerhof
  • Ernst T. Bohlmeijer
  • Corey L. M. Keyes
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter addresses mental health as more than the absence of disease, also approaching it from a positive perspective as the presence of well-being across the lifespan. The study described in the chapter investigated the association of age with psychopathology and positive mental health, controlling for potential confounding effects of physical health. The study draws on data of the representative LISS panel (N = 1,506) covering the adult lifespan (ages 18–87). Positive mental health, psychopathology, and physical health were measured. Older adults experienced both lower psychopathology and lower positive mental health, which remained after controlling for positive mental health or psychopathology respectively, demographics, and physical health. Demographics and physical health were more strongly associated with psychopathology than with positive mental health. Positive mental health and psychopathology were related, but showed distinct patterns across the lifespan. This emphasizes the importance of assessing both psychopathology and positive mental health when investigating age in relation to mental health.

Keywords

Positive mental health Well-being Psychopathology Two continua model Physical health Aging paradox Age Lifespan Mediation Moderation 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sanne M. A. Lamers
    • 1
  • Gerben J. Westerhof
    • 1
  • Ernst T. Bohlmeijer
    • 1
  • Corey L. M. Keyes
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Health, & TechnologyUniversity of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of SociologyEmory UniversityAtlantaUSA

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