Social Relationships, Depression and BMI in Older Irish Adults
Older adults’ social relationships influence both mental and physical health outcomes, and reciprocal influences between loneliness and depression have been demonstrated over time. Social and mental health are both important considerations for Ireland’s ageing population. Obesity represents another public health concern among the ageing population, and is also associated with depression. ‘Social relationships’ is an umbrella term that encompasses both subjective relationship measures such as loneliness and relationship quality, and objective relationship measures such as participation and social network connectedness. This thesis aims to describe the prevalence of social relationships, depression and BMI in older Irish adults, and to investigate the interactions and reciprocal influences between these variables. Analysis includes comparison of influences of subjective and objective social relationship measures on depression and BMI, and uses multiple measures from wave 1 and wave 2 of the Irish Longitudinal Study of Ageing (TILDA).