The composition and structure of depressive symptomatology among young and older caregivers of persons with dementia

Sienna Caspar, Norm O'Rourke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Informal caregivers of persons with dementia (PWD) experience higher rates of clinical depression relative to general populations of older adults. Because caregivers range considerably in age (e.g., older spouses as compared to adult children or grandchildren), the need exists to evaluate the psychometric properties of depression screening measures to ascertain if cohort differences exist. The current study was conducted to determine whether responses to the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression (CES-D) Scale are equivalent between older (range 66 to 93 years; n=542) and younger PWD caregivers (range 21 to 65; n=884). Only responses to the interpersonal affect factor differ between the two. We contend that this pattern of consistency is due to similarity of role demands which may cause depressive symptoms to present more uniformly among PWD caregivers in contrast to heterogeneous groups of young and older adults. Overall, our findings support the higher-order factor structure of CES-D responses within a population at elevated risk for depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-41
Number of pages9
JournalAgeing International
Volume34
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - 12 May 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Age group comparisons
  • Caregivers
  • Dementia
  • Depressive symptomatology
  • Factor structure
  • Invariance analyses

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