Interlocking trajectories of loss-related events and depressive symptoms among elders.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


As people age, their peers (who are also aging) become increasingly susceptible to health decline and death, implying potential growth in stressful loss-related events over time for the individual. Yet little research has examined trajectories of stress and their relationship to trajectories of depression among elders. The purpose of this research was to determine whether growth in loss-related events occurs for elders and whether stress growth is related to the well-known growth in depressive symptomatology in later life.


Three waves of National Institute on Aging Established Populations for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly (Duke University site) data were used in the analyses. Latent growth curve models were estimated for stress, for depressive symptoms, and for stress predicting depression net of several covariates.


Findings include that (a) loss-events evidence clear growth across age at the aggregate level, but with much variation within the sample, and (b) variation in growth in stress is strongly related to variation in growth in depressive symptoms.


The results suggest that stress in later life may be conceived of as a growth process, with strong consequences for trajectories of mental health.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Lynch, SM; George, LK

Published Date

  • March 2002

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 57 / 2

Start / End Page

  • S117 - S125

PubMed ID

  • 11867672

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1758-5368

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1079-5014

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/geronb/57.2.s117


  • eng