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Psychol Aging. 1991 Jun;6(2):212-22.

Changes in depressive-symptom experiences among older women.

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Institute on Aging and Adult Life, University of Wisconsin-Madison 53706.


Changes in depressive-symptom experiences over a 5-year period were investigated in a community sample of 251 women between the ages of 51 and 92 years. Findings from a confirmatory factor analysis of the SCL-90-R Depression and Additional Symptoms scales (Derogatis, 1983) indicate that two phenomenally different syndromes underlie symptom-reporting patterns. A depressive syndrome, more classic in form, shows decreasing levels with increasing age, although a depletion syndrome, marked by feelings of enervation and a loss of interest in things, shows increasing levels with advancing age. The relative independence of the two syndromes, as well as their differing relations to four more delimited forms of distress that were identified in the analyses, have important implications for future research on the age-depression relation.

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