Depression is less prevalent among older adults than among younger adults but can have serious consequences. Over half of cases represent a first onset in later life. Although suicide rates in the elderly are declining, they are still higher than in younger adults and more closely associated with depression. Depressed older adults are less likely to endorse affective symptoms and more likely to display cognitive changes, somatic symptoms, and loss of interest than are younger adults. Risk factors leading to the development of late life depression likely comprise complex interactions among genetic vulnerabilities, cognitive diathesis, age-associated neurobiological changes, and stressful events. Insomnia is an often overlooked risk factor for late life depression. We suggest that a common pathway to depression in older adults, regardless of which predisposing risks are most prominent, may be curtailment of daily activities. Accompanying self-critical thinking may exacerbate and maintain a depressed state. Offsetting the increasing prevalence of certain risk factors in late life are age-related increases in psychological resilience. Other protective factors include higher education and socioeconomic status, engagement in valued activities, and religious or spiritual involvement. Treatments including behavioral therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, cognitive bibliotherapy, problem-solving therapy, brief psychodynamic therapy, and life review/reminiscence therapy are effective but too infrequently used with older adults. Preventive interventions including education for individuals with chronic illness, behavioral activation, cognitive restructuring, problem-solving skills training, group support, and life review have also received support.
This scientific journal documents the brain scans of children who go through early puberty.
Although siblings are a fixture of family life, research on sibling relationships lags behind that on other family relationships. To stimulate interest in sibling research and to serve as a guide for future investigations by family scholars, we review four theoretical psychologically oriented perspectives—(a) psychoanalytic-evolutionary, (b) social psychological, (c) social learning, and (d) family-ecological systems—that can inform research on sibling relationships, including perspectives on the nature and influences on developmental, individual, and group differences in sibling relationships. Given that most research on siblings has focused on childhood and adolescence, our review highlights these developmental periods, but we also incorporate the limited research on adult sibling relationships, including in formulating suggestions for future research on this fundamental family relationship.