Depressive symptoms among adolescents and older adults in Mexico City

  • Sergio Sánchez-García
  • Carmen García-Peña
  • Catalina González-Forteza
  • Alberto Jiménez-Tapia
  • Joseph J. Gallo
  • Fernando A. Wagner
Original Paper



Determine the structure of depressive symptoms among adolescents and older adults through the person-centered approach of latent class analysis (LCA).


The study is based on data from two independent samples collected in Mexico City (2,444 adolescents and 2,223 older adults) which included the revised version of the CES-D. The presence or absence of depressed mood (dysphoria), diminished pleasure (anhedonia), drastic change in weight, sleep problems, thinking and concentration difficulties, excessive or inappropriate guilt, fatigue, psychomotor agitation/retardation, and suicide ideation were used in LCA to determine the structure of depressive symptoms for adolescents and older adults.


Adolescents reported higher excessive or inappropriate guilt compared to older adults, while older adults had higher proportions of anhedonia, sleep problems, fatigue, and psychomotor agitation/retardation. Similar proportions were found in other symptoms. The LCA analysis showed the best fit with four latent classes (LC): LC 1, “symptoms suggestive of major depressive episode (MDE)” with prevalence of 5.9 % (n = 144) and 10.3 % (n = 230) among adolescents and older adults, respectively; LC 2, “probable MDE symptoms” 18.2 % (n = 446) and 23.0 % (n = 512); LC 3, “possible MDE” 27.7 % (n = 676) and 21.8 % (n = 485); LC 4, “without significant depressive symptoms” 48.2 % (n = 1,178) and 44.8 % (n = 996). The differences in item thresholds between the two groups (adolescents vs. older adults) were statistically significant (Wald test = 255.684, df = 1, p < 0.001).


This study documented important similarities and differences in the structure of depressive symptoms between adolescents and older adults that merit acknowledgment, further study, and consideration of their potential clinical and public health implications.


Adolescent Aged Depression Mexico 



This project was supported by grants from CONACyT (México) 2002-CO1-6868, 2000-25902, 2004-44915; Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS 2002-382), and NIH-FIRCA FP-0497. Dr. Wagner was funded through grants P60-MD002217 and R24MD002803 from the NIMHD.

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sergio Sánchez-García
    • 1
  • Carmen García-Peña
    • 1
  • Catalina González-Forteza
    • 2
  • Alberto Jiménez-Tapia
    • 2
  • Joseph J. Gallo
    • 3
  • Fernando A. Wagner
    • 4
  1. 1.Unidad de Investigación Epidemiológica y en Servicios de Salud, Área Envejecimiento, Centro Médico Nacional Siglo XXIInstituto Mexicano del Seguro SocialMéxico D.F.México
  2. 2.Dirección de Investigaciones Epidemiológicas y PsicosocialesInstituto Nacional de Psiquiatría Ramón de la Fuente MuñizMéxico D.F.México
  3. 3.Department of Mental Health, Bloomberg School of Public HealthJohn Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA
  4. 4.Prevention Sciences Research Center and School of Community Health and PolicyMorgan State UniversityBaltimoreUSA

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