Memory predicts changes in depressive symptoms in older adults: a bidirectional longitudinal analysis.

TitleMemory predicts changes in depressive symptoms in older adults: a bidirectional longitudinal analysis.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsJajodia, A, Borders, A
JournalJ Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci
Date Published2011 Sep
ISSN Number1758-5368
KeywordsAged, Aged, 80 and over, Comorbidity, Dementia, Vascular, depression, Female, Geriatric Assessment, Humans, Longitudinal Studies, Male, Mental Recall, Middle Aged, Models, Psychological, Retirement, Statistics as Topic, United States

OBJECTIVES: Although research indicates that depressive symptoms and memory performance are related in older adults, the temporal associations between these variables remain unclear. This study examined whether depressive symptoms predicted later memory change and whether memory predicted later change in depressive symptoms.

METHODS: The sample consisted of more than 14,000 adults from the Health and Retirement Study, a biannual longitudinal study of health and retirement in Americans older than age 50 years. Measures of delayed recall and depressive symptoms served as the main study variables. We included age, sex, education, and history of vascular diseases as covariates.

RESULTS: Using dynamic change models with latent difference scores, we found that memory performance predicted change in depressive symptoms 2 years later. Depressive symptoms did not predict later change in memory. The inclusion of vascular health variables diminished the size of the observed relationship, suggesting that biological processes may partially explain the effect of memory on depressive symptoms.

IMPLICATIONS: Future research should explore both biological and psychological processes that may explain the association between worse memory performance and subsequent increases in depressive symptoms.

User Guide Notes

Endnote Keywords

Older people/Mental depression/Memory/Gerontology/Cardiovascular disease

Endnote ID


Alternate JournalJ Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci
Citation Key7609
PubMed ID21742642
PubMed Central IDPMC3155030
Grant ListAG007137 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
AG027010 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States