Social correlates of the dimensions of depression in the elderly.
Few investigations of the social correlates of depressive symptomatology have addressed variation in the correlates across multiple dimensions of depression scales. We examined the relationships of selected social, clinical, and demographic correlates with four dimensions of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression (CES-D) scale in 3,401 community-dwelling elders in the Piedmont area of North Carolina. These correlates explained significant variation in somatic complaints and depressed affect; effects of chronic disability and recent negative events were particularly robust. Having a confidant explained reduced symptomatology for all four dimensions, but particularly for low positive affect and interpersonal problems. Positive affect was also buttressed by helping others. These patterns have particular relevance where treatment for depression is divorced from considerations of the social environment of the elderly patient.
Hays, JC; Landerman, LR; George, LK; Flint, EP; Koenig, HG; Land, KC; Blazer, DG
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