Congratulations to Mr. Hauber and Mr. Brijoux for their successful dissertations

We are very pleased to congratulate the two PhD students Daniel Hauber and Thomas Brijoux on their doctorates and wish them good luck and all the best for their future careers.

In his cumulative dissertation „Traumatische Erlebnisse im 2. Weltkrieg - Zusammenhänge mit körperlicher und psychischer Gesundheit in der Hochaltrigkeit“ (Traumatic experiences in World War II - correlations with physical and mental health in old age") Daniel Hauber investigated the extent to which traumatic experiences such as World War II in childhood and adolescence have an impact on the overall health of people aged 80 and over and how biographical stress interacts with critical life events in old age. The life stage of very old age has been neglected in previous research, although it is at this time that other drastic life experiences, such as widowhood or illness, may increasingly occur. Based on data from the representative survey of very old people in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW80+) conducted by ceres, Daniel Hauber aims to close this research gap and came to the conclusion that traumatized very old people suffer significantly more often from physical stress such as heart failure, respiratory and lung diseases or back pain. Likewise, respondents with traumatic experiences reported higher depression screening scores and lower subjective health. The cross-section also showed that traumatized very old respondents had lower cognitive performance at the onset of very old age than non-traumatized respondents, whereas this effect was reversed at very old age. However, a correlation between traumatic experiences in young age and appreciation of life, as well as coping with widowhood or depression in very old age, could not be found. These results should be taken into account in diagnosis and therapy of very old people. Mr. Hauber wrote, or contributed to, the following publications in the context of his doctorate:

Hauber, D., Wilhelm, I., & Zank, S. (2023). Altern im historischen Kontext Deutschlands. In K. Hank, M. Wagner, & S. Zank (Hrsg.), Alternsforschung. Handbuch für Wissenschaft und Studium. Nomos: Baden-Baden.

Hauber, D., Kaspar, R., & Zank, S. (2021). WWII traumatic events, subjective well-being and valuation of life in the very old. Zeitschrift Für Gerontologie Und Geriatrie, 54(S2), 126–131.

Hauber, D., & Zank, S. (2022). WWII trauma impacts physical and mental health in the oldest old: results from a German population-based study. Aging & Mental Health, 26(4), 834–842.

Hauber, D., & Kaspar, R., & Zank, S. (eingereicht). Trauma, Depression, and Bereavement: Relationship with Cognition and Multimorbidity in Very Old Adults.

In his doctoral thesis "A closer look on dementia, elder abuse and multimorbidity in representative samples of the oldest old", Mr. Thomas Brijoux discusses the advantages and disadvantages of including groups that are difficult to survey in old age, using the example of three common constructs in old age (dementia, elder abuse and multimorbidity). Inclusion of these groups is associated with a reduction in sampling, framing, and nonresponse error in the Total Survey Error Framework, whereas exclusion results in an increase in these errors and a reduction in measurement error. Methods presented in the dissertation that moderate between these survey errors are: (1) a partial exclusion of the sample and subsequent reweighting, and (2) a separate representation of subpopulations of the survey that have undergone their own measurement procedures that are appropriate for them. However, these analysis steps are always preceded by data collection. In the case of the very old population, this is accompanied by special efforts, for example, in the home population. Thomas Brijoux also uses the data from our representative NRW80+ study. In the context of his doctorate, he wrote or participated in the writing of the following publications:

Kaspar, R., Brijoux, T., Albrecht, A., Zimmermann, J., Wenner, J., Fey, J., Reissmann, M., Wagner, M., & Zank, S. (2023). Challenges and Benefits of Including the Institutionalized, Cognitively Impaired and Unable to Respond in a Representative Survey of the Very Old. Survey Research Methods, 17(2), 111–129.

Neise, M., Brijoux, T., & Zank, S. (2023). Development of the Elder Abuse and Emotional Consequences Scale (EACS). GeroPsych 2023 36:3, 150-160.

Brijoux, T., Neise, M. & Zank, S. Elder abuse in the oldest old: prevalence, risk factors and consequences. Z Gerontol Geriat 54 (Suppl 2), 132–137 (2021).

Brijoux, T., Woopen, C. & Zank, S. Multimorbidity in old age and its impact on life results. Z Gerontol Geriat 54 (Suppl 2), 108–113 (2021).

Kaspar, R., Albrecht, A., Brijoux, T., Fey, J., Geithner, L., Oswald, V., Reissmann, M., Wagner, M., Wenner, J., Zank, S., Zimmermann, J. (submitted) Assessments of Quality of Life in Very Old Age: A Population-Based Cross-Sectional Study