stress, stress-coping, depression, adolescent, mental health, elderly, problem solving
Background: Depression and Anxiety in the elderly are highly prevalent, yet there is little evidence to guide targeted prevention strategies. To support a healthy and enjoyable life for the elderly, stressrelated problems should be psychologically treated to establish profitable prevention approaches for the elderly in Japan. We examine the associations between stress coping styles and the mental health of the elderly as compared to the young. Objectives: This study investigates both psychological factors and stress-coping strategies of both elderly and young people. Methods: The questionnaire packet contained an informed consent form, a General Health Questionnaire (GHQ), a Ways of Coping Checklist (WCQ), a State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), a Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), a Statistics included Student t test, correlation analyses and a logistic regression analysis. Results: All participants who had no symptoms were included and gave consent to participate in this study; the data of 390 participants was analyzed. Compared with 213 young subjects (116 males, 97 females, age: 19.5±1.50 years), 177 elderly people (118 males, 59 females, age: 67.2±7.35 years) showed lower GHQ scores (2.04±2.35 vs. 5.15±3.09, p<.001); lower scores in Confrontive Coping (4.77±3.28 vs. 6.43±3.45, p<.001), Seeking Social Support (5.82±3.71 vs. 7.84±4.57, p<.001), Accepting Responsibility (4.75±2.54 vs. 6.18±2.78, p<.001), and Escape Avoidance (6.36±4.04 vs. 10.41±4.46, p<.001); and higher scores in Planful Problem Solving (8.83± 3.92 vs. 7.56± 3.76, p<0.01) in WCQ. Meanwhile, in the elderly, coping skills of Escape Avoidance (OR = 1.199; 95% CI = 1.077-1.333; P<0.01) and Planful Problem Solving (OR = 0.839; 95% CI = 0.739-0.953; P<0.01) are independent and significant predictors of mental health even after an adjustment is made for age and gender, but whether they are predictors of mental health in the young is unclear. Conclusion: These results suggest that ways of coping with stress differs between generations and that focus on stressors may be important for intervention for mental health.