Campus Units

Human Development and Family Studies

Document Type

Article

Publication Version

Accepted Manuscript

Publication Date

1-27-2012

Journal or Book Title

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society

Volume

60

Issue

2

First Page

238

Last Page

242

DOI

10.1111/j.1532-5415.2011.03828.x

Abstract

Abstract BACKGROUND—Depressive symptoms are often reported to be higher in very old populations when compared to younger age groups. However, it is unclear whether the differences are due to age differences in dysphoria or in other components of depression. OBJECTIVES—The purpose of this study was to examine age differences for specific items and subscales of the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS). DESIGN—The current study compared specific items, subscales, and the total score from the GDS among three age groups. SETTING—Community-dwelling older adults were tested. PARTICIPANTS—One hundred and thirty-nine centenarians were compared to 93 octogenarians and 91 sexagenarians. MEASUREMENTS—The GDS (Brink et al., 1982) was used in this study. RESULTS—Results indicated age-group differences in the overall depression score and in the withdrawal-apathy-vigor (WAV), mental impairment, and hopelessness subscale scores, as well as on the item level with significant age group differences on 12 of the 30 items. Centenarians rated higher on all subscales, but there was no difference in dysphoria. CONCLUSION—It is important to distinguish different dimensions of depression when assessing very old populations because some of the questions on the GDS are associated with fatigue, mild cognitive decline, and decline in physical functioning which increase with aging. Future research should revisit the concept of depression in very late life.

Comments

This manuscript is published as Scheetz, Laura T., Peter Martin, and Leonard W. Poon. "Do centenarians have higher levels of depression? Findings from the Georgia Centenarian Study." Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 60, no. 2 (2012): 238-242. 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2011.03828.x. Posted with permission.

Copyright Owner

The Authors

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

Published Version

Included in

Gerontology Commons

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