Purpose: To model the dynamic age-related rate of change in depressive symptomatology in later life and to test the hypothesis that low perceived neighbourhood social cohesion is associated with steeper trajectories of depressive symptoms in older adults. Methods: We analysed data on 11,037 participants aged 50+ from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Perceived social cohesion (PSC) of participants’ neighbourhoods was assessed at baseline (2002/2003). Depressive symptoms were measured using CES-D scores (ranging from 0 to 8) on 7 occasions from baseline to 2014/2015. Trajectories of depressive symptoms by baseline PSC were estimated using latent growth modelling. Results: At baseline, adults with low PSC had more depressive symptoms than age counterparts with high PSC. Consistent with the U-shaped trajectory of depressive symptoms by age, the association between PSC tertile and changes in depressive symptoms over follow-up was modified by age. Fifty-year-old participants with low PSC reported an average decrease in CES-D score from 0.66 to 0.54 during the 12-year follow up, compared to a change from 0.47 to 0.34 for age counterparts with high PSC. By contrast, in persons aged 85 at baseline, the mean CES-D score increased from 1.09 to 1.30 for participants with high PSC, while the rise was greater (from 1.49 to 2.03) among those with low PSC. The main effects and interaction of PSC with age were robust to adjustment for socio-economic and health characteristics. Conclusions: Depressive symptom trajectories by PSC appear to widen as adults reach old age.

Additional Metadata
Keywords CES-D, Depression, Latent growth modelling, Neighbourhood, Social cohesion, Trajectories
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00127-018-1548-4, hdl.handle.net/1765/118033
Series MINDMAP
Journal Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology: the international journal for research in social and genetic epidemiology and mental health services
Citation
Ruiz, M, Scholes, S. (Shaun), & Bobak, M. (2018). Perceived neighbourhood social cohesion and depressive symptom trajectories in older adults: a 12-year prospective cohort study. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology: the international journal for research in social and genetic epidemiology and mental health services, 53(10), 1081–1090. doi:10.1007/s00127-018-1548-4