Social Capital and Mental Health Promotion among Older Adults: The Psychosocial Approach
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The mental health of older adults is a relevant public health issue, as mental health problems and disorders are highly prevalent in later life and thereby form a major threat to a full life in old age. Psychosocial interventions aiming to enhance mental health or prevent mental health problems targeting the general older adult population or certain risk groups show promising results if appropriately implemented. The overall aim of this chapter is to discuss the connection between various aspects of social capital and mental health among older adults. Additionally, it describes and compares the effects of psychosocial interventions for enhancing mental health and preventing mental ill-health in later life. Based on a systematic review and meta-analysis, the effects of implemented psychosocial interventions on various mental health outcomes (e.g. depressive symptoms, life satisfaction, quality of life, functional level) are presented and discussed. Finally, the feasibility of mental health promotion initiatives in a virtual context are explored, illustrated by results from a review looking at the associations between information and communication technology (ICT) use and mental health in old age. The increased role of ICT and internet usage today increases the interest in exploring the potential utilisation of the technology for promoting mental health also among older adults, through mechanisms of social resources.
KeywordsMental Health Life Satisfaction Social Capital Psychosocial Intervention Positive Mental Health
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