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The impact of age differences in couples on depressive symptoms: evidence from the Korean longitudinal study of aging (2006-2012)

 Jae-Hyun Kim  ;  Eun-Cheol Park  ;  Sang Gyu Lee 
 BMC PSYCHIATRY, Vol.15 : 10, 2015 
Journal Title
Issue Date
Age Factors ; Aged ; Aging/psychology ; Depressive Disorder/epidemiology* ; Depressive Disorder/psychology* ; Female ; Humans ; Korea/epidemiology ; Longitudinal Studies ; Male ; Marriage/psychology ; Marriage/statistics & numerical data ; Middle Aged ; Personal Satisfaction ; Severity of Illness Index ; Spouses/psychology* ; Spouses/statistics & numerical data*
Age differences ; Couples ; Depressive symptoms
BACKGROUND: Depression represents one of the most common psychiatric disorders among older adults. Married couples are affected frequently, and psychiatric problems usually affect marital satisfaction. Despite the frequency of such relationships, it appears that very few studies have examined the issues that arise in couples of this type of marriage. Therefore, we investigate whether age differences between couples affect extent of depressive symptoms among older adults. METHODS: Our analysis included 2,881 couples (i.e., 2,881 households) at least 45 years of age at baseline (2006), in addition to 3,033 couples in 2008, 2,772 couples in 2010, and 2,711 couples in 2012. A generalized linear mixed model was used for the data analysis. RESULTS: When the age difference between husbands and wives was 3 years or less, the estimated severity of depressive symptoms was 0.309 higher (SE = 0.084, p = 0.000) than that of same-aged couples. When the age gap was 3 years or more, the estimated severity of depressive symptoms was 0.645 higher (SE = 0.109, p < .0001) than that of same-aged couples. For every 1-2 years extra in age difference between wives and husbands, the estimated severity of depressive symptoms increased by 0.194 (SE = 0.082, p = 0.018), compared with same-aged couples. CONCLUSIONS: Age differences between husbands and wives impact their relationship, including any particular marital issues encountered.
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Appears in Collections:
4. Graduate School of Public Health (보건대학원) > Graduate School of Public Health (보건대학원) > 1. Journal Papers
1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Preventive Medicine and Public Health (예방의학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Park, Eun-Cheol(박은철) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2306-5398
Lee, Sang Gyu(이상규) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4847-2421
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