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Title: The 'understandability phenomenon' : do older adults believe depression is a normal part of old age?
Author: Law, Jim
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2003
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Abstract:
The "understandability phenomenon" as defined by Blanchard (1992) is the notion that older adults believe depression is a normal consequence of old age. The concept is referred to frequently in the gerontology literature as one of the factors responsible for the under detection and under treatment of late life depression. However, there is little empirical evidence to support this concept. This study assessed the understandability of late life depression in a sample of community dwelling depressed and non-depressed older adults. A measure was developed which examined older adult's belief in the understandability of depression. Specifically, the items in the measure covered depression as a natural consequence of old age, low expectations of treatment, and accepting there are good reasons for depression in late life. Two explanations for the phenomenon were tested. It was hypothesised that the understandability phenomenon is a negative cognition associated with depression. Second, it was also hypothesised that the understandability phenomenon is a function of older adult's beliefs about ageing and old age. It was found that the understandability phenomenon was not related to depression but was related to older adults beliefs about their own ageing. The clinical implications of older adults belief in the understandability of late life depression are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.735360  DOI: Not available
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