Depression and mental health among older Mexican American spouses

J. P. Stimpson, M. K. Peek, K. S. Markides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although the association between marriage and well-being is well established, few studies have focused on learning more about the context of marriage and mental health. Recent research studying the mechanisms of marriage and health has focused on contagion of well-being among spouses. This study examined the association of depression with self-esteem, social support, life satisfaction, concern for independence, and cognitive function using baseline data for 553 older, Mexican American couples. Overall, we found evidence to suggest an interdependent relationship between husbands' and wives' emotional states, but the association was not equal for couples. Husbands' depression was significantly associated with the well-being of their wife, but the wife's depression was rarely associated with the husband's well-being. The findings from this study add to the increasing literature on spousal contagion by focusing on an under studied minority group, examining how depression affects well-being, and highlighting unequal effects of marriage on spousal well-being.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)386-393
Number of pages8
JournalAging and Mental Health
Volume10
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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