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Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am. 2010 May;21(2):281-97. doi: 10.1016/j.pmr.2009.12.005.

The relationship of age-related factors to psychological functioning among people with disabilities.

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Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington School of Medicine, 325 9th Avenue, Box 359612, Seattle, WA 98104, USA.


The potential influence of age and aging on the psychological functioning of people with disabilities is surprisingly complex. In people with spinal cord injury or multiple sclerosis, depression is highly prevalent. The limited research in this area indicates that older age and greater time span since disability onset may be associated with less self-reported depressive symptoms. Posttraumatic growth (PTG) and benefit finding (BF) are also common in people with disabilities. Older age tends to be associated with less BF and PTG. Studies that use longitudinal designs and examine multiple age-related factors simultaneously are needed. Potential mediators of age-related effects, such as historical trends, life-cycle events, maturity, and declining health, also need to be examined. There are many interesting theoretic and empiric concepts from aging research that can inform future research on the psychological aspects of aging with disability.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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