Multiple trajectories of depressive symptoms in middle and late life: racial/ethnic variations.

TitleMultiple trajectories of depressive symptoms in middle and late life: racial/ethnic variations.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsLiang, J, Xu, X, Quiñones, AR, Bennett, JM, Ye, W
JournalPsychol Aging
Date Published2011 Dec
ISSN Number1939-1498
KeywordsAfrican Americans, Age Factors, Aged, depression, disease progression, European Continental Ancestry Group, Female, Health Status Disparities, Hispanic Americans, Humans, Longitudinal Studies, Male, Middle Aged, Models, Statistical, Socioeconomic factors, Time Factors, United States

This research aims to identify distinct courses of depressive symptoms among middle-aged and older Americans and to ascertain how these courses vary by race/ethnicity. Data came from the 1995-2006 Health and Retirement Study which involved a national sample of 17,196 Americans over 50 years of age with up to six repeated observations. Depressive symptoms were measured by an abbreviated version of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale. Semiparametric group based mixture models (Proc Traj) were used for data analysis. Six major trajectories were identified: (a) minimal depressive symptoms (15.9%), (b) low depressive symptoms (36.3%), (c) moderate and stable depressive symptoms (29.2%), (d) high but decreasing depressive symptoms (6.6%), (e) moderate but increasing depressive symptoms (8.3%), and (f) persistently high depressive symptoms (3.6%). Adjustment of time-varying covariates (e.g., income and health conditions) resulted in a similar set of distinct trajectories. Relative to White Americans, Black and Hispanic Americans were significantly more likely to be in trajectories of more elevated depressive symptoms. In addition, they were more likely to experience increasing and decreasing depressive symptoms. Racial and ethnic variations in trajectory groups were partially mediated by SES, marital status, and health conditions, particularly when both interpersonal and intrapersonal differences in these variables were taken into account.


Liang, Jersey Xu, Xiao Quinones, Ana R Bennett, Joan M Ye, Wen 5P30AG024824/AG/NIA NIH HHS/United States R01-AG015124/AG/NIA NIH HHS/United States R01-AG028116/AG/NIA NIH HHS/United States UL1RR024986/RR/NCRR NIH HHS/United States Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S. United States Psychology and aging Psychol Aging. 2011 Dec;26(4):761-77. Epub 2011 Aug 29.

User Guide Notes

Endnote Keywords

Depression/ethnic differences/marital Status/Depressive Symptoms/CES Depression Scale/CES Depression Scale

Endnote ID


Alternate JournalPsychol Aging
Citation Key7636
PubMed ID21875216
PubMed Central IDPMC3495237
Grant ListR01-AG015124 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
5P30AG024824 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01 AG028116 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01 AG015124-10 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
P30 AG024824 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
UL1RR024986 / RR / NCRR NIH HHS / United States
R01 AG015124 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01 AG028116-02 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01-AG028116 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
UL1 RR024986 / RR / NCRR NIH HHS / United States