Worry and depression in the old and young: differences and mediating factors

Lucy Armstrong, Viviana M. Wuthrich, Ashleigh Knight, Richard Joiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (SciVal)


Objective: This study examined whether differences in habitual negative selfthinking and coping strategies might contribute to the age differences in worry and depression. Method: 60 undergraduate students (age range: 18-24 years, M = 19.10, SD = 1.3) and 45 community-dwelling older adults (age range: 60-89 years, M = 73.5, SD = 7.5) participated. Participants completed self-report measures of worry, depression, negative self-thinking, and coping styles. Results: We replicated previous findings that older adults were less worried and less depressed than younger adults. Older adults also reported engaging in less habitual negative thinking and using more problem solving as a coping strategy than younger adults. Furthermore, negative self-thinking and problem-solving skills were found to partially mediate age differences in worry and fully mediate depression scores. Conclusions: These results suggest that habitual negative thinking and problem-solving skills play a role in explaining the lower rates of worry and depression in older populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-289
Number of pages11
JournalBehaviour Change
Issue number4
Early online date20 Nov 2014
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014


  • Ageing
  • Coping
  • Depression
  • Geriatric
  • Habitual negative thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Worry


Dive into the research topics of 'Worry and depression in the old and young: differences and mediating factors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this