Mental health and illness in relation to physical health across the lifespan

S.M.A. Lamers, Gerben Johan Westerhof, Ernst Thomas Bohlmeijer, Corey L.M. Keyes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
156 Downloads (Pure)


This chapter addresses mental health as more than the absence of disease, also approaching it from a positive perspective as the presence of well-being across the lifespan. The study described in the chapter investigated the association of age with psychopathology and positive mental health, controlling for potential confounding effects of physical health. The study draws on data of the representative LISS panel (N = 1,506) covering the adult lifespan (ages 18–87). Positive mental health, psychopathology, and physical health were measured. Older adults experienced both lower psychopathology and lower positive mental health, which remained after controlling for positive mental health or psychopathology respectively, demographics, and physical health. Demographics and physical health were more strongly associated with psychopathology than with positive mental health. Positive mental health and psychopathology were related, but showed distinct patterns across the lifespan. This emphasizes the importance of assessing both psychopathology and positive mental health when investigating age in relation to mental health.
Original languageUndefined
Title of host publicationPositive Psychology: Advances in understanding adult motivation
EditorsJ.D. Sinnott
Place of PublicationNew York
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)978-1-4614-7281-0
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Publication series



  • METIS-299913
  • IR-88432

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