Trajectories of depressive symptoms in elderly Mexican Americans

Sunshine Rote, Nai Wei Chen, Kyriakos Markides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Objectives To identify depressive symptom trajectories and factors associated with trajectory group membership in the very old segment of the rapidly growing and long-living Mexican-American population. Design Latent growth curve modeling was used to identify depressive symptom trajectories and multinomial logistic regression to identify factors associated with trajectory group membership. Setting Data spanning three waves and 7 years (2004-05, 2007-08, 2010-11) drawn from the Hispanic Established Populations for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly; homes of Mexican-origin elderly adults. Participants Community-dwelling Mexican Americans aged 75 and older living in the southwestern United States (N = 1,487). Measurements The 20-item version of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale. Results Three trajectory groups were identified: low throughout, increasing, and high but decreasing. Activity of daily living disability was the strongest predictor of depressive symptoms, followed by social support. Foreign-born individuals were at greater risk than those who are U.S. born for high but decreasing depressive symptoms than for low depressive symptoms. Conclusion Early detection and treatment of chronic disabling conditions, especially heart disease, cancer, visual impairment, and cognitive impairment, and increasing access to social participation should be the focus of treatment and intervention strategies for depression in very old Mexican Americans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1324-1330
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015


  • Mexican Americans
  • depressive symptoms
  • mental health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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