Stress & stressors

Negative life events


LASA272

Contact: Hannie Comijs

Background
Older persons are frequently exposed to various stressors. It has been estimated that about 25% of healthy older persons experience at least one stressful life event within a 3-month period (Ormel et al., 2001). Life events include acute as well as ongoing stressful situations, such as the death of a close relative, a severe disease of a beloved one and relocation, and are important contributors to reduced wellbeing and the development of psychopathology, especially depression (Van Praag, et al., 2005).

Measurement instrument in LASA
Negative life events were assessed with the adapted version from the life event inventory developed by Tennant and Andrews (1976). Sixty-seven items were validated in an Australian urban population. Item weights varied between 1 (marked financial improvement) and 83 (death of spouse). The items used in the LASA data collection were selected on the following criteria: the event is not yet reported in another part of the questionnaire (e.g., death of spouse), the event is likely to occur relatively frequently in the population (e.g., having a baby is unlikely), and the event scores relatively high on the distress and life changes scalings. In LASA, respondents are asked whether the following events had occurred in the three-year time interval prior to the interview: divorce, severe illness of partner, death of a relative, death of a child, severe conflicts, or being a victim of a crime. Questions about widowhood (LASAz310) and relocation (LASAz014) are included in another part of the LASA interview and need to be combined with the questions from this life event questionnaire.

Questionnaires
LASAC272, LASAD272, LASAE272, LASAF272, LASAG272, LASAH272 / LASAI272 (main interview: in Dutch: in preparation)

Variable information
LASAC272, LASAD272, LASAE272, LASAF272, LASAG272, LASAH272 / LASAI272 (pdf)

Availability of information per wave1:

 

B

C

D

E


2B*

F

G

H


3B*

MB*

I*

Life events questionnaire

-

Ma

Ma

Ma

-

Ma

Ma

Ma

-

-

Ma

Widowhood

-

Ma

Ma

Ma

-

Ma

Ma

Ma

-

-

 

Relocation

-

Ma

Ma

Ma

-

Ma

Ma

Ma

-

-

 

1 More information about the LASA data collection waves is available on:
http://www.lasa-vu.nl/data/lasa/sampleLASAdatacollection.html

* 2B=baseline second cohort;
   3B=baseline third cohort;
   MB=migrants: baseline first cohort (Under Construction);
   I=Under Construction

Ma=data collected in main interview

Previous use in LASA
The association between life events and psychological well-being (depression and anxiety) has been studied in LASA by De Beurs et al. (2000, 2001), and the association between life events and cognitive functioning by Comijs et al. (2011). In addition, some studies has studied the interaction between early negative life events and recent negative life events with respect to depression (Comijs et al. 2007) and with respect to cognitive decline (Van den Berg et al. 2010, Korten et al. 2014). Other studies with negative life events concerned the influence of negative life events on residential (Bloem et al. 2008) and on physical activity (Koeneman.et al. 2012)

References

  1. Bloem, B.A., van Tilburg, T.G., Thomése, G.C.F. (2008). Residential mobility in older Dutch adults: Influence of later life events. International Journal of Ageing and Later Life, 1, 3: 21-44.
  2. Comijs, H.C., Beekman, A.T.F., Smit, F., van Tilburg, T., & Deeg, D.J.H. (2007). The association between recent life events and depressive symptoms in older persons and the interaction with early events. Journal of Affective Disorder,. 103(1-3): 243-246.
  3. Comijs, H.C., van den Kommer, T.N., Minnaar, R.W.M., Penninx, B.W.J.H., Deeg, D.J.H. (2011). Accumulated and differential effects of life events on cognitive decline in older persons: depending on depression, baseline cognition, or ApoE ε4 status? The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 66B (S1), i111-i120.
  4. De Beurs, E., Beekman, A.T.F., Deeg, D.J.H., van Dyck, R., & van Tilburg W. (2000). Predictors of change in anxiety symptoms of older persons: Results from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam. Psychological Medicine, 30: 515-527.
  5. De Beurs, E., Beekman, A.T.F., Geerlings, S.W., Deeg, D.J.H., van Dyck, R., & van Tilburg, W. (2001). On becoming depressed or anxious in late life: Similar vulnerability factors but different effects of stressful life events. British Journal of Psychiatry, 179, 426-431.
  6. Koeneman, M.A., Chinapaw, M.J.M, Verheijden, M.W., van Tilburg, T.G., Visser, M., Deeg, D.J.H., Hopman-Rock, M. (2012). Do major life events influence physical activity among older adults: the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 17;9:147.
  7. Korten, N.C.M., Penninx, B.W.J.H., Pot, A.M., Deeg, D.J.H., Comijs, H.C. (2014). Adverse childhood and recent negative life events: contrasting associations with cognitive decline in older persons. Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology, 27: 128-138.
  8. Ormel, J., Oldehinkel, A. J., & Brilman, E. I. (2001). The interplay and etiological continuity of neuroticism, difficulties, and life events in the etiology of major and subsyndromal, first and recurrent depressive episodes in later life. American Journal of Psychiatry, 158, 885-891.
  9. Tennant, C., & Andrews, G. (1976). A scale to measure the stress of life events. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 10, 27-32.
  10. Van den Berg, G.J., Deeg, D.J.H., Lindeboom, M., Portrait, F.R.M. (2010). The role of early-life conditions in the cognitive decline due to adverse events later in life. The Economic Journal, 120, F411–F428.
  11. Van Praag, H. M., De Kloet, R., & Van Os, J. (2005). Stress, the brain and depression. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.