A longitudinal study of gender differences in depressive symptoms from age 50 to 80.
The Obvious Depression Scale was administered to 739 community residents at ages 50, 60, and 80 years, with 151 present at all waves. Although selective attrition influenced the level of depressive symptoms in cross-sectional vs. longitudinal samples, both sets of analyses revealed higher scores in women than in men at ages 50 and 60, but not at age 80. Men showed increases in depressive symptoms from age 60 to 80, but women did not (interaction p < .002). This interaction was not present in somatic symptoms, which increased across time in both genders. Potential explanations include differential changes in social roles with aging.
Barefoot, JC; Mortensen, EL; Helms, MJ; Avlund, K; Schroll, M
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