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A Life Course Approach to Mental Disorders$
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Karestan C. Koenen, Sasha Rudenstine, Ezra Susser, and Sandro Galea

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199657018

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199657018.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 30 July 2021

Social context and mental health over the life course

Social context and mental health over the life course

(p.227) Chapter 21 Social context and mental health over the life course
A Life Course Approach to Mental Disorders

Arijit Nandi

Lauren Welsh

Oxford University Press

The life course perspective provides important insights concerning the independent, cumulative, and interactive effects of social, behavioural, and biological factors across the lifespan. This chapter addresses three key questions. First, what are the theoretical mechanisms hypothesized to link social context to mental health outcomes? Second, what is the evidence for ‘independent’ effects of social contextual factors on mental health at various stages of the life course, in general, and for social context at one stage of the life course influencing health at a later stage, in particular? Third, what are the main challenges to causal inference with respect to estimating contextual mental health effects over the life course? Attention is focused on salient aspects of social context in three phases of life: childhood and adolescence, adulthood, and older age.

Keywords:   social context, mental health, life course, biology, life stages

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