Age as a factor in response to spinal cord injury. Academic Article uri icon


  • Previous studies examining the role of age in the mediation of psychological response to a catastrophic injury, such as spinal cord injury, have yielded equivocal results. To further examine the role of age in the response to catastrophic injury, 53 patients with spinal cord injury were administered a battery of tests assessing life stress, depression and general psychological functioning. Two groups were derived from negative ratings of life events and subject's age. Younger patients, who reported higher levels of life stress, also reported more depressive symptomatology; younger patients with lower levels of life stress reported fewer depressive symptoms. Both young and old patients with high stress reported higher levels of depressive symptomatology. Psychological disturbance was greater in the high life stress group as indicated by significant elevations on the global severity index of the Symptom Checklist-90 and elevations on somatization, obsessive compulsive, interpersonal sensitivity, depression, anxiety and psychoticism subscales. Age effects were not found for the Symptom Checklist-90.

published proceedings

  • Am J Phys Med Rehabil

author list (cited authors)

  • Frank, R. G., Elliott, T. R., Buckelew, S. P., & Haut, A. E.

citation count

  • 17

complete list of authors

  • Frank, RG||Elliott, TR||Buckelew, SP||Haut, AE

publication date

  • January 1988