Retirement Depression

Retirement depression and anxiety

Most nations across the globe are reviewing the retirement eligibility ages as a result of the challenge of population aging and the associated risks. This review may seem like an ordinary policymaking process, but it shows the importance of studying the impacts of labor force exit, especially for retirees. Recent years have seen most of the literature in this field focus on the labor force exit for male workers with insignificant attention paid to the retirement of women. Thus, while there is a need to study both sides of the gender divide for comparison purposes and deeper understanding of the situation, there is also a need to narrow the scope of the study to a specific mental health problem. This study will serve to fill the gap by focusing on the impacts of retirement on depression and anxiety in both male and female retirees.

The number of pensioners is increasing at an alarming rate with studies projecting a higher population of the elderly in each country throughout the world (Kasza, 2002). For instance, Khan (2014) estimates that by 2033, the UK’s population aged 65 years and above will be accounting for close to 23% of the entire population. Predictably, aging has adverse economic impacts, making it an area of interest for researchers who wish to investigate how some of the negative effects could be minimized or eliminated. It is noteworthy that some of the past research works have noted no correlation between retirement and mental disorders, implying that labor force exit does not affect depression and anxiety in any way. However, other studies have found a positive relationship between the two. Nonetheless, it is proven that psychiatric illness is a major factor behind early retirements worldwide. Therefore, this study will seek to examine the exact impacts of retirement on depression and anxiety. The following is the hypothesis of this research.

The current working environment is busy, and the jobs are also demanding. Besides, most organizations are in their early stages of fully implementing the concept of employee well-being, which has been found to reduce depression and anxiety levels in employees (Bonsang & Timothy, 2012). Therefore, the projected decline in the prevalence of depression and anxiety at the retirement age bracket is sufficient ground to predict that retirement is good for a person’s mental health.

Retirement Blues Research Methods

A research method defines the particular means employed in conducting the research. In essence, it encompasses the individual methodologies facilitating either primary or secondary data depending on the type of study and the preferred form of data. As the backbone of a study, various aspects must come into perspective when conducting a study, especially regarding the collection of data. For this study, the elements of research methods that will be considered include the research philosophy, sampling techniques, design, data collection, and the subsequent analysis.

Depression after Retirement Research Philosophy

The research philosophy will describe all the hypothetical instruments that reinforce the collection of data on the effect of retirement on both men and women. Besides, it will shape the application and inform the use of the resulting data. On that note, the philosophy will guard and support the research design. The philosophy of this study will comprise of epistemology, ontology, and individual methodology. Broom (2006, p.151-156) describes ontology as a scientific study that focuses on the form of reality. In this case, it will encompass aspects of the effects of retirement on depression and anxiety that are believed to be generally true, thus, do not necessitate any proof. Such elements include the fact that the longevity of men outdoes that of women and the fact that psychiatric issues contribute to early retirement. The research ontology will concentrate on such reality and what it means to the actual subject of the study. While at it, this study will employ both objectivist and constructivist reasoning to assist in the analysis of the collected data. Howell (2013) notes that research objectivism postulates that a particular social entity is part of reality and does not depend on the social actors believed to facilitate the existence of the entity. Therefore, in objectivist standpoint, psychiatric illnesses are part of reality and do not depend on the employment status of a person. The accuracy of such claims is not certain until the complete analysis of data. Conversely, constructivism champions for the belief that the occurrence of a social phenomenon is a function of the contributions of social actors. As opposed to ontology, research epistemology examines the facts backed by science (Silverman, 2011). Similar to ontology, it branches into two concepts – positivism and interpretivism. An interpretivist holds the view that the reality of a subject is only clear following a subjective interpretation of data on a particular subject. On the same note, positivism claims that reality is a stand-alone aspect, which can be supported through an objective evaluation of any associated data through repeat examinations and observations. As an element of research philosophy, the research methodology will describe the appropriate research approach to this research study.

Summary of the Research Design

Ontology Objectivism

Epistemology Positivism

Sampling Technique Random sampling

Research Type Qualitative Research 

Method of Data Collection Qualitative Survey 

Data Analysis Hypothesis Analysis 

Retirement Anxiety and Depression Research Approaches and Strategy

In retrospection of the hypothesis, this study will seek to examine the causal relationship between retirement and depression and anxiety. In connection, deductive reasoning will be employed as the most suitable approach to the research as it is popular with qualitative studies (Howell, 2013). Deductive reasoning approach starts with broad beliefs and narrows their premises to specific facts (Bonsang & Timothy, 2012).  This research will be largely qualitative, but with certain elements of a quantitative study to complement the aspects that will require statistical analysis. In line with the research approaches, survey strategy will form part of this research. According to Silverman (2011), survey encompasses systematic and structured data collection from a sample population. In particular, the study will employ structured two-section (open and close-ended) questionnaires. Questionnaires are not only easy to administer, but also easy to analyze (Broom, 2006). Besides, the feature of anonymity aspect assures the respondents of high levels of confidentiality, thus, they open up more in their responses.

Sampling Technique

In this research, random sampling technique will be used to gather respondents. As stated, this study will focus on both men and women notwithstanding their racial or cultural background. The suitability of random sampling for this research arises from the fact that the technique picks prospective participants at random with no regard to any factors of selection. While at it, random sampling eliminates or reduces bias in the process of selection and increases the reliability, accuracy, and validity of the study.

Data Collection and Analysis

The study will apply two methods of data collection – primary and secondary. For the secondary data, sources such as past research works, news items, books, journals, and reports will be examined to reveal critical information on the subject of this study. The evaluation of these studies will be done before the actual study. Primary data will be collected through qualitative surveys as stated. The questionnaires will contain both open and closed-ended sections to capture all the responses and the possible explanations from the perspective of the participants. In the same breadth, data analysis will be done using graphs and charts where necessary. Other suitable methods identified in the course of the research expedition may also be used to analyze the data from the study.

Research Ethics

Some of the ethical considerations for this study will include maintenance of the confidentiality of the respondents in line with the provisions of the consent form that they will sign before the actual study. Besides, all the questionnaires will be presented to the experts for standardization and evaluation. All the respondents will be recruited through voluntary appeal.

Expected Research Contributions

The primary contribution of this research will be assisting the government and the related authorities in gauging the economic impacts of retirement vis-à-vis its relationship with depression and anxiety. Thus, it will inform health planning and policymaking. The study will also be theoretically beneficial, as it will fill the gap left in the current research works and set the record straight concerning the relationship between retirement and its impact on depression and anxiety.

References

Bonsang, E & Timothy, W. (2012). ‘Retirement and Subjective Wellbeing.’ Journal of Economic Behaviour & Organisation, (2012): 213-233.

Broom, A. (2006). ‘Ethical issues in social research.’ Complementary therapies in medicine, 14(2): 151–156.

Howell, K. E. (2013). Introduction to the Philosophy of Methodology. London: Sage Publications.

Kasza. G.J. (2002). ‘The Illusion of Welfare Regimes.’ Journal of Social Policy, 31 (2): 271-287

Khan, F. (2014). ‘Retirement and Mental Health.’ Old Age Psychiatrist, (2014): 59.

Silverman, D. (2011). Qualitative Research: Issues of Theory, Method and Practice, London: Thousand Oaks