Depressive symptoms have been represented in the research and clinical literature in terms of both an episodic phenomenon and as enduring individual differences. We investigated depressive symptoms longitudinally in a sample of older adults. Participants were 737 individuals (MAge = 73 years initially, 39% women) in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging who provided biennial Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression data on up to five occasions over an 8-year period. We found both trait and state-residual variability, with symptoms increasing longitudinally on all subscales and accounting for an approximately 1-point increase per decade. Trait-like variability accounted for at least two thirds of the reliable variance. Interindividual differences were consistent over time, but occasion-specific variability diminished across occasions.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Journals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences|
|State||Published - Nov 2004|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Sociology and Political Science
- Life-span and Life-course Studies