Spouses and depressive symptoms in older adulthood.

TitleSpouses and depressive symptoms in older adulthood.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsPradeep, N, Sutin, AR
JournalSci Rep
Date Published2015 Feb 26
ISSN Number2045-2322
KeywordsAged, depression, Female, Humans, Longitudinal Studies, Male, Sex Distribution, Spouses

Depressive symptoms may co-occur within couples and follow similar trajectories, but relatively little is known about this process in old age. This study thus examined the association between some spousal characteristics (spouse's depressive symptoms, age difference between spouses) and the trajectory of depressive symptoms in older adults. Participants ≥ 65 years old were drawn from the Health and Retirement Study (N = 12,010; Mean age = 70.60 and 69.16 for target husbands and wives, respectively). Depressive symptoms were measured with a short form of the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) scale. Hierarchical Linear Modeling was used to model up to 9 assessments of depressive symptoms of target spouses (Mean number of CESD assessments per target spouse = 3, range 1-9). Depressive symptoms between spouses were correlated; convergence over time was modest. For both husbands and wives, having a younger spouse was associated with more depressive symptoms at age 65. These results suggest that there is concordance between spouses' depressive symptoms and that the age difference between spouses contribute to depressive symptoms as couples enter old age. The association between spouses' depressive symptoms is nearly as strong as the effect of each decade increase in age.


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Endnote Keywords

Depressive Symptoms/depression/spousal characteristics/Trajectories/Hierarchical Linear Modeling

Endnote ID


Alternate JournalSci Rep
Citation Key8302
PubMed ID25716455
PubMed Central IDPMC4341217
Grant ListU01 AG009740 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
U01AG009740 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States