The Health and Retirement Study is a longitudinal study that is conducted every other year in the United States and has served as a precursor to similar studies across the world, such as the Mexican Health and Aging Study. The purpose of the current project was evaluating the relationship between depressive symptoms, inflammation and physical activity levels using data from the HRS and MHAS studies. The current project was divided in two main studies. The first study aimed at establishing measurement invariance in a brief questionnaire about depressive symptoms, the CES-D 8. The second study looked at various theories of depression including the inflammation theory and the economic theory of depression and other constructs in a larger, novel model called the Multisystemic Geriatric Depression Cycle. For the first study, MPlus was used to conduct measurement invariance analyses in 15,319 participants ages sixty- five and older from both datasets. For the second study, various regression, mediation and moderation analyses were conducted using variables like C-reactive protein, physical activity, loneliness, frequency of social contact and perceived social support. Because measurement invariance was not supported by results in Study 1, analyses and results in Study 2 were only interpreted for the HRS sample. Results from second study showed support for the inflammation theory of depression, partial support for the economic theory of depression with cross-sectional data, and the cross-sectional and longitudinal mediating effect of perceived negative social support in the relationship between loneliness and depression. This project highlights further need for improvement of measures administered cross-culturally to guarantee meaningful comparison of construct of depression among culturally diverse groups. This study adds to the growing body of literature guiding harmonization efforts from the Program on Global Aging, Health and Policy.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Sciences
Psychology; Clinical Psychology
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Herrera Legon, Manuel, "Measurement Invariance in the CESD-8 and Assessment of Mood Correlates Between American and Mexican Community Studies on the Multisystemic Geriatric Depression Cycle" (2021). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 511.