Depressive symptoms among adolescents and older adults in Mexico City

Sergio Sánchez-García, Carmen García-Peña, Catalina González-Forteza, Alberto Jiménez-Tapia, Joseph J. Gallo, Fernando A. Wagner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Determine the structure of depressive symptoms among adolescents and older adults through the person-centered approach of latent class analysis (LCA). Methods: The study is based on data from two independent samples collected in Mexico City (2,444 adolescents and 2,223 older adults) which included the revised version of the CES-D. The presence or absence of depressed mood (dysphoria), diminished pleasure (anhedonia), drastic change in weight, sleep problems, thinking and concentration difficulties, excessive or inappropriate guilt, fatigue, psychomotor agitation/retardation, and suicide ideation were used in LCA to determine the structure of depressive symptoms for adolescents and older adults. Results: Adolescents reported higher excessive or inappropriate guilt compared to older adults, while older adults had higher proportions of anhedonia, sleep problems, fatigue, and psychomotor agitation/retardation. Similar proportions were found in other symptoms. The LCA analysis showed the best fit with four latent classes (LC): LC 1, "symptoms suggestive of major depressive episode (MDE)" with prevalence of 5.9 % (n = 144) and 10.3 % (n = 230) among adolescents and older adults, respectively; LC 2, "probable MDE symptoms" 18.2 % (n = 446) and 23.0 % (n = 512); LC 3, "possible MDE" 27.7 % (n = 676) and 21.8 % (n = 485); LC 4, "without significant depressive symptoms" 48.2 % (n = 1,178) and 44.8 % (n = 996). The differences in item thresholds between the two groups (adolescents vs. older adults) were statistically significant (Wald test = 255.684, df = 1, p < 0.001). Conclusions: This study documented important similarities and differences in the structure of depressive symptoms between adolescents and older adults that merit acknowledgment, further study, and consideration of their potential clinical and public health implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)953-960
Number of pages8
JournalSocial psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • Adolescent
  • Aged
  • Depression
  • Mexico

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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