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2009 - American Sociological Association Annual Meeting Pages: 31 pages || Words: 8358 words || 
1. Bierman, Alex. and Statland, Denise. "Timing, social support, and the effects of physical limitations on psychological distress in late life" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Hilton San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, Aug 08, 2009 Online <PDF>. 2020-02-29 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Previous research shows that limitations in activities of daily living (ADLs) are related to greater psychological distress. This study uses a synthesis of life course and stress process perspectives to examine how social support resources and the timing of limitations intersect to shape the relationship between ADL limitations and changes in psychological distress. Data are derived from a longitudinal study of adults aged 65 and older in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area over a 2-year period (2001–2003). Results indicate that ADL limitations are positively related to change in depressive symptoms. This relationship is weakened for older individuals, but only at higher levels of perceived social support. The contribution of this research is to offer a more nuanced view of the mental health consequences of physical limitations in late life by demonstrating that perceived social support provides an important context for age-variegated associations between ADL limitations and changes in psychological distress.

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