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Longitudinal trajectories of quality of life and depression by housing tenure status.

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The Journals of Gerontology: Series B, 73(8), e165-e174

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This study delves into the long-term effects of housing tenure on the psychological well-being of older New Zealanders, with a distinct focus on homeowners and tenants.

Utilising data from 2,843 participants aged between 50 to 85 years, gathered from 2010 to 2014, it employs latent growth curve modelling to explore changes in quality of life and depression symptoms over time. The results indicate that homeowners experience improvements in quality of life and decreases in depression symptoms, whereas tenants’ lower quality of life and higher depression symptoms remain constant. Significant factors include economic living standards, urban versus rural residence, duration of residence, ethnicity, age, and household composition. The study highlights the psychological advantages of homeownership, advocating for policies that ensure access to secure housing solutions for all seniors. As the authors conclude, demographic differences indicated that home owners have a higher standard of living, are more likely to be working, married or in a de facto relationship, and are of non-Māori descent. Notably, the research identifies disparities between European and Māori New Zealanders in various life aspects, including health, employment, income, and housing. It emphasises that Māori households face poorer disposable income and more crowded living conditions. Given the aging New Zealand population and declining homeownership rates among younger generations, the study underlines the importance of secure and sustainable housing for the psychological well-being of older adults, particularly addressing the needs of vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, including the Māori community, to mitigate inequalities in health outcomes.

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