Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

Health Services Research & Development

Go to the ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

The structure of late-life depressive symptoms across a 20-year span: a taxometric investigation.

Holland JM, Schutte KK, Brennan PL, Moos RH. The structure of late-life depressive symptoms across a 20-year span: a taxometric investigation. Psychology and aging. 2010 Mar 1; 25(1):142-56.

Related HSR&D Project(s)

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information vaww.hsrd.research.va.gov/dimensions/

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions



Abstract:

Past studies of the underlying structure of depressive symptoms have yielded mixed results, with some studies supporting a continuous conceptualization and others supporting a categorical one. However, no study has examined this research question with an exclusively older adult sample, despite the potential uniqueness of late-life depressive symptoms. In the present study, the underlying structure of late-life depressive symptoms was examined among a sample of 1,289 individuals across 3 waves of data collection spanning 20 years. The authors employed a taxometric methodology using indicators of depression derived from the Research Diagnostic Criteria (R. L. Spitzer, J. Endicott, and E. Robins, 1978). Maximum eigenvalue analyses and inchworm consistency tests generally supported a categorical conceptualization and identified a group that was primarily characterized by thoughts about death and suicide. However, compared to a categorical depression variable, depressive symptoms treated continuously were generally better predictors of relevant criterion variables. These findings suggest that thoughts of death and suicide may characterize a specific type of late-life depression, yet a continuous conceptualization still typically maximizes the predictive utility of late-life depressive symptoms.





Questions about the HSR&D website? Email the Web Team.

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.