The Association between Nutrition and Mental and Physical Health in Widow/ers
AuthorMayer, Candace Marie
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractOver one million people become widowed every year in the United States. Current research demonstrates the significant changes in eating behaviors which widow/ers adopt following the loss of a spouse, and how these modifications correlate with affective maladjustment such as depression or severe grief. Specifically, widow/ers generally eat less frequently and consume less nutritive foods as they develop new patterns that satisfy their individual needs. What is not clear is how these alimentary behaviors determine nutrition status and how this physiological state is related to the severity of grief and/or symptoms of depression post-loss. Both the stress of losing a spouse, as well as changes in nutrition status, play a role in physical health and can be measured in patient blood pressure. This correlational study aims to examine the relationships between nutrition, depression, grief severity and blood pressure, as well as potential mediating factors of these relationships. Findings indicate negative correlations between nutrition and depression, as well as nutrition and blood pressure (both systolic and diastolic). A significant effect was not found, however, between nutrition and grief severity. The results suggest nutritional status following spousal bereavement is more strongly related to symptoms of depression than grief severity.
Degree ProgramHonors College