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Feeling Blue?: The importance of a confidant for the wellbeing of older rural married Australian and American men

Miller, Evonne, Buys, Laurie, & Roberto, Karen (2005) Feeling Blue?: The importance of a confidant for the wellbeing of older rural married Australian and American men. In 38th Annual Conference of the Australian Association of Gerontology, November 2005, Gold Coast.

Abstract

Older men have been described as relatively invisible in gerontological research, with knowledge about the wellbeing of older men in a rural and cross-cultural context limited. Thus, this research investigated the prevalence and predictors of mild depression, or "the blues", among older married Australian and American men living in rural areas. Comparable data from two separate studies, phone interviews for Americans (n=118) and a self-complete postal questionnaire for Australians (n=53), was integrated to determine whether the prevalence and predictors of mild depression, specifically demographic factors, health, pain, functional limitations and social networks, differed according to nationality. Approximately 20% of older rural men described themselves as recently "feeling blue" or "down in the dumps". Logistic regression analyses demonstrated that, for both older Australian and American men, mild depression was predicted by functional limitations and not having someone to trust and confide in. These findings emphasise the importance of friendships beyond the marital relationship for older married rural men. Unfortunately, the remoteness and isolation of rural life, combined with the "masculine culture of the bush" and men’s resistance to share their feelings, may impede the formation of close friendships. As the first study to identify the predictors of mild depression for older married men in a rural cross-cultural context, this research highlights the importance of friendships for male wellbeing in rural Australia and America.

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ID Code: 3697
Item Type: Conference Paper
Additional URLs:
Keywords: mild depression, older men, rural ageing, cross, cultural context
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Developmental Psychology and Ageing (170102)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > OTHER STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (169900) > Gender Specific Studies (169901)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Mental Health (111714)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Social Change Research
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > QUT Carseldine - Humanities & Human Services
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 23 Mar 2006
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 23:15

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