Journal Article

Depressive Symptoms, Depletion, or Developmental Change? Withdrawal, Apathy, and Lack of Vigor in the Geriatric Depression Scale

Kathryn Betts Adams

in The Gerontologist

Published on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America

Volume 41, issue 6, pages 768-777
Published in print December 2001 | ISSN: 0016-9013
Published online December 2001 | e-ISSN: 1758-5341 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/geront/41.6.768
Depressive Symptoms, Depletion, or Developmental Change? Withdrawal, Apathy, and Lack of Vigor in the Geriatric Depression Scale

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Geriatric Medicine
  • Biological Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Gerontology and Ageing

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

Purpose of the Study: Researchers have posited a depletion syndrome among older adults that resembles "depression without sadness." Disengagement-related theories such as socio-emotional selectivity and gerotranscendence also describe an adaptive narrowing of the older person's social world and decreasing investment in activities and social relationships. This study has dual goals of confirming the existence of a "Withdrawal/Apathy/[Lack of] Vigor" (WAV) dimension of the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) and exploring its properties for evidence that it may be descriptive of either depletion or disengagement-related change in older adults. Design and Methods: Data were obtained through a mailed survey of members 65 and older at a health maintenance organization. Respondents returned 327 completed surveys and 163 "decline" postcards. Principal-components analysis obtained a 6-item WAV factor for further analyses. Results and Implications: High endorsement rates for the items in WAV and its bivariate correlations with age and health problems suggest WAV may be congruent with disengagement or depletion and may lead to over-identification of depression in older adults. Interpretation of the GDS and similar measures may be improved by use of subscale scores and consideration of age and health status of the respondent.

Keywords: Depletion; Depression; Disengagement theory; the Geriatric Depression Scale; Socioemotional selectivity

Journal Article.  7945 words. 

Subjects: Geriatric Medicine ; Biological Sciences ; Psychology ; Gerontology and Ageing

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.