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February 1979

Influence of Demographic Characteristics on Two Measures of Depressive Symptoms: The Relation of Prevalence and Persistence of Symptoms With Sex, Age, Education, and Marital Status

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, School of Medicine (Dr Craig), and the Department of Epidemiology, School of Hygiene and Public Health (Ms Van Natta), Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. Dr Craig is now with the Rockland Psychiatric Center, Orangeburg, NY.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1979;36(2):149-154. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1979.01780020039003

• Respondents from community and inpatient populations were asked to recall for the preceding week the prevalence (presence of symptom at any time) and persistence (presence of symptom for five to seven days) of 16 symptoms associated with depression. The rates were adjusted for four-variable combinations of sex, age, education, marital status, and clinical status. For the majority of symptoms, statistically significant associations were found between prevalence and sex, age, and marital status and between persistence and education. These results suggest that white women, young adults, and those not currently married have a higher prevalence of transient depressed affect than those in the other categories of each variable, while the less well-educated are at greater risk than those in other education categories of having the depressive syndrome requiring therapeutic intervention.

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