Nevin Manimala Statistics

Depressive Symptom Trajectories and Cognition Among Older American Couples: A Dyadic Perspective

J Aging Health. 2022 Sep 14:8982643221125838. doi: 10.1177/08982643221125838. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVES: This study examined whether trajectories of depressive symptoms of one spouse are associated with the other spouse’s memory.

METHODS: Longitudinal data from the Health and Retirement Study (2004-2016) were used (N = 5690 heterosexual couples). Latent-class growth analysis and structural equation models examined the actor and partner effects of depressive symptom trajectories on memory.

RESULTS: Four depressive symptom trajectories were identified (i.e., persistently low, increasing, decreasing, and persistently high). Compared to the low trajectory group, the increasing and persistently high trajectories were associated with worse memory for both men and women. While none of the wives’ depressive symptom trajectories was significantly associated with husbands’ memory (p > .05), husbands’ decreasing trajectory was linked to wives’ better memory (β = 0.498, 95% CI = 0.106, 0.890).

DISCUSSION: Older adults with increasing and persistently high depressive symptoms may experience worse memory. Psychosocial interventions targeting depressive symptoms among older men may be beneficial to their spouses’ memory.

PMID:36113097 | DOI:10.1177/08982643221125838

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