Towards an active and happy retirement? Changes in leisure activity and depressive symptoms during the retirement transition

Georg Henning, Andreas Stenling, Allison A. M. Bielak, Pär Bjälkebring, Alan J. Gow, Marie Kivi, Graciela Muniz-Terrera, Boo Johansson, Magnus Lindwall

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Abstract

Objectives: Retirement is a major life transition in the second half of life, and it can be associated with changes in leisure activity engagement. Although theories of retirement adjustment have emphasized the need to find meaningful activities in retirement, little is known about the nature of changes in leisure activity during the retirement transition and their association with mental health.

Methods: Based on four annual waves of the ‘Health, Aging and Retirement Transitions in Sweden’ study, we investigated the longitudinal association of leisure activity engagement and depressive symptoms using bivariate dual change score models. We distinguished intellectual, social, and physical activity engagement.

Results: We found increases in all three domains of activity engagement after retirement. Although level and change of activity and depressive symptoms were negatively associated, the coupling parameters were not significant, thus the direction of effects remains unclear.

Conclusion: The results highlight the need to consider the role of lifestyle changes for retirement adjustment and mental health.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAging and Mental Health
Early online date22 Jan 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Jan 2020

Keywords

  • Leisure activity
  • depressive symptoms
  • retirement adjustment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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