Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences

Younger adults report more distress and less well-being: A cross-cultural study of event centrality, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and life satisfaction

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The extent to which highly emotional autobiographical memories become central to one's identity and life story influences mental health. Young adults report higher distress and lower well‐being, compared with middle‐aged and/or older adults; whether this replicates across cultures is still unclear. First, we provide a review of the literature that examines age‐differences in depression, post‐traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and life satisfaction in adulthood across cultures. Second, we report findings from a cross‐cultural study that examined event centrality of highly positive and negative autobiographical memories along with symptoms of depression and PTSD, and levels of life satisfaction in ∼1000 young and middle‐aged adults from Mexico, Greenland, China, and Denmark. Both age groups provided higher centrality ratings to the positive life event; however, the relative difference between the ratings for the positive and negative event was smaller in the young adults. Young adults reported significantly more distress and less well‐being across cultures. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
Volume34
Issue5
Pages (from-to)1180-1196
ISSN0888-4080
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2020

    Research areas

  • PTSD, age differences, cultural differences, depression, event centrality, life satisfaction, AGE-DIFFERENCES, POPULATION, CHINESE, SELF, STORY, AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMORIES, ENHANCEMENT, GENDER, SCALE

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