Sociology, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Research on Aging 22:2 (2000), pp. 143–164; doi 10.1177/0164027500222003 Copyright © 2000 SAGE Publications. Used by permission.


This study uses longitudinal data to examine the potential moderating effects of social support and age among older adults exposed to an acute stressor. Using a sample of 651 older persons, data were gathered in the spring of 1992 and in the fall of 1993, approximately 60 days after the peak impact of flooding in the Midwest. Results indicate a positive association between pre- and post-flood depression and a negative association between social support and post-flood depression. For the youngest of the two older age groups, there is also a positive association between flood exposure and post-flood depression, controlling for prior levels of depression. Age interactions reveal that social support moderates the effects of flood exposure on depression only for the younger age group.

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