The proposed FIRST award will be used to integrate the principal investigator's epidemiologic and sociological training in investigating the effects of social roles on onset and course of depression through the life course with special emphasis on individuals age 65 and over. The study will examine whether the effects of social roles (e.g., marital, family, employment, and informal roles) on depression (measured both with the CES-D and the DIS) are constant across age groups. The study design employs four complimentary sets of panel data of noninstitutionalized community residents. The first two data sets, both representative samples drawn from the Greater New Haven, CT community, are the New Haven sites of the Epidemiologic Catchment Area (ECA) Project and the Established Populations for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly (EPESE) Project. The second two data sets are drawn from the ECA and EPESE studies of the five county regions in north central North Carolina comprising the Greater Durham community. The Durham data will be used in replication to test the generalizability of the New Haven findings. Social roles will be employed as both individual and as composite indicators generated empirically using Grade of Membership (GOM) analysis. The analyses will examine 1) the effects of social roles on depression; 2) the effects of social role combinations on depression; 3) the short and long term effects of changes in social roles on depression; and 4) the extent to which the effects of changes in social roles on depression are modified by other social roles. The results of the proposed study will have implications for identifying risk factors for depression that are unique and for planning prevention and early intervention programs for specific age groups.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
First Independent Research Support & Transition (FIRST) Awards (R29)
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Life Course and Prevention Research Review Committee (LCR)
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Yale University
Schools of Medicine
New Haven
United States
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Bruce, M L; Hoff, R A; Jacobs, S C et al. (1995) The effects of cognitive impairment on 9-year mortality in a community sample. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 50:P289-96
Fichter, M M; Bruce, M L; Schroppel, H et al. (1995) Cognitive impairment and depression in the oldest old in a German and in U.S. communities. Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci 245:319-25
Bruce, M L; Hoff, R A (1994) Social and physical health risk factors for first-onset major depressive disorder in a community sample. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 29:165-71
Bruce, M L; Leaf, P J; Rozal, G P et al. (1994) Psychiatric status and 9-year mortality data in the New Haven Epidemiologic Catchment Area Study. Am J Psychiatry 151:716-21
Bruce, M L; McNamara, R (1992) Psychiatric status among the homebound elderly: an epidemiologic perspective. J Am Geriatr Soc 40:561-6
Bruce, M L; Kim, K M (1992) Differences in the effects of divorce on major depression in men and women. Am J Psychiatry 149:914-7