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Many Disadvantaged Men Satisfied with Retirement

Poor health, low income and depression in younger years do not preclude happy retirement

THURSDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- Many men who were socially disadvantaged in their younger years are happy with their retirement regardless of the health and economic woes that complicated early adulthood and midlife, according to a report in the April issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

George E. Vaillant, M.D., from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and colleagues conducted a prospective study of 151 socially disadvantaged men who were followed from adolescence until an average age of 75 years. The investigators used interviews, questionnaires and physical exams to determine biopsychosocial risk variables, and age and contentment with retirement.

Age of retirement was found to be largely associated with preexisting health conditions and occupation. The researchers also found that many variables commonly associated with poor outcomes during young adulthood and midlife -- including poor health, low income and depression -- were not associated with satisfaction during retirement.

"A relatively high level of satisfaction with retirement was often attained by men who had reported many risk factors for poor child and midlife development (e.g., low IQ, dropping out of school, poor mental health and being part of a multiproblem family) but who in later life had some positive resources (e.g., a good marriage, a low level neuroticism, enjoyment of vacations and a capacity for play)," the authors write.

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