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Behav Sci (Basel). 2018 Feb 26;8(3). pii: E30. doi: 10.3390/bs8030030.

Resilience in Elders of the Sardinian Blue Zone: An Explorative Study.

Author information

1
Department of Pedagogy, Psychology, Philosophy, University of Cagliari, Via Is Mirrionis 1, 09123 Cagliari, Italy. chiara.fastame@unica.it.
2
Department of Pedagogy, Psychology, Philosophy, University of Cagliari, Via Is Mirrionis 1, 09123 Cagliari, Italy. paul.hitchcott@unica.it.
3
Department of Pedagogy, Psychology, Philosophy, University of Cagliari, Via Is Mirrionis 1, 09123 Cagliari, Italy. imulas89@gmail.com.
4
Department of Pedagogy, Psychology, Philosophy, University of Cagliari, Via Is Mirrionis 1, 09123 Cagliari, Italy. marilenaruiu@gmail.com.
5
Department of Pedagogy, Psychology, Philosophy, University of Cagliari, Via Is Mirrionis 1, 09123 Cagliari, Italy. penna@unica.it.

Abstract

Background: older adults from the Sardinian Blue Zone self-report low depressive symptoms and high psychological well-being. However, the role of dispositional resilience as a determinant of these characteristics is unknown. Objectives: the current study had three aims. First, to investigate associations among several putative predictors, including dispositional resilience and three established markers of positive and negative mental health. Second, to determine if gender differences in dispositional resilience, independent of age and cognitive impairment, are present in this population. Third, to examine the relative importance of the predictors of self-reported mental health and well-being. Methods: 160 elders were recruited in the Sardinian Blue Zone. The participants completed self-report measures of dispositional resilience, satisfaction with social ties, physical health, depressive symptoms, and psychological well-being. Results: trait resilience was significantly associated with predictors and markers of mental health. Males had significantly greater trait resilience. In regression analyses, dispositional resilience and satisfaction with social ties were significant predictors of all markers of mental health. Other factors were significantly associated only with certain markers. Conclusions: trait resilience and strong social ties appear to be key determinants of the high mental health of Sardinian Blue Zone older adults.

KEYWORDS:

aging; blue zone; depression; psychological well-being; resilience

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