When Did Old Age Stop Being Depressing? Depression Trajectories of Older Americans and Britons 2002–2012

  • G. T
  • A. M
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Abstract

Objective This study aims to investigate the implications of the heterogeneous cohort composition on depression trajectories of older adults in the United States and England. Methods Using growth curve models to identify depressive symptom trajectories and data spanning six waves over 10 years (2002–2012) from the U.S. Health Retirement Study and the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, community-dwelling Americans and Britons aged 50 years and older were studied. Depressive symptoms were measured using the eight-item Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale. Results The sample included 11,919 respondents (7,095 women [59.53%]) in the United States and 10,606 respondents (5,802 women [54.7%]) in England aged 50 and older. Older cohorts were shown to have higher depressive symptoms than younger cohorts in the United States and England. The trajectories of depression of older cohorts, particularly those of the prewar cohorts in both countries and the war cohort in England, followed a U-shape. Conversely, the trajectories of depression of the younger cohort, particularly those of the postwar cohorts in both countries and the war cohort in the United States, took an inverted U-shape. Conclusion The trajectories of depression in later life between cohorts took different shapes. This finding may lead to the development of more cost-effective policies for treating depression in later life.

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G., T., & A., M. (2017). When Did Old Age Stop Being Depressing? Depression Trajectories of Older Americans and Britons 2002–2012. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 25(11), 1187–1195. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jagp.2017.06.006

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