Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling Psychology & Community Services


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship of gender and marital status to depression and personality and demographic variables among the well elderly.

There were three research questions: (1) By gender, what is the relationship of the inventory scales scores and the demographic variables to the CES-D Depression Scale? (2) Are there significant gender differences on the inventory scales scores and on the demographic variables? (3) Is there a gender by marital status interaction on the CES-D Depression Scale scores and on the inventory scales scores?

Subjects were 214 females and 103 males ages 55 to over 80. They were administered a questionnaire consisting of demographic information and the following instruments: Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale, UCLA Loneliness Scale, Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, Schedule of Recent Events, and the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support.

Results of the study showed no significant difference between men and women on the depression scale scores, but men were significantly lonelier than women. Those variables most highly correlated with the CES-D scale for women were the UCLA Loneliness Scale, the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, and total Medication taken. For males, the UCLA Loneliness Scale, the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale and perceived Health status correlated most highly with the CES-D scale.

There were no significant marital status differences on any of the variables and no significant gender by marital status interaction.

It was concluded that there are gender differences in the experience of depression. It may be that males perceive poor health or retirement as more emotionally impactful than do women.

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