Memory and Depressive Symptoms Are Dynamically Linked Among Married Couples: Longitudinal Evidence From the AHEAD Study

Denis Gerstorf, Christiane A. Hoppmann, Kelly M. Kadlec, John J. McArdle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined dyadic interrelations between episodic memory and depressive symptom trajectories of change in old and advanced old age. The authors applied dynamic models to 10-year incomplete longitudinal data of initially 1,599 married couples from the study of Asset and Health Dynamics Among the Oldest Old (M age = 75 years at Time 1). The authors found domain-specific lead-lag associations (time lags of 2 years) among wives and husbands as well as between spouses. For memory, better performance among husbands protected against subsequent memory decline among wives, with no evidence of a directed effect in the other direction. For depressive symptoms, wives' scores predicted subsequent depression increase and memory decline among husbands. Possible individual covariates (age, education, functional limitations) and spousal covariates (length of marriage, number of children, and whether the couple remained intact over the study period) did not account for differential lead-lag associations. The findings of antecedent-consequent relations between wives and husbands are consistent with life-span notions that individual development both influences and is influenced by contextual factors such as close social relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1595-1610
Number of pages16
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Volume45
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2009
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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