Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 29–34 | Cite as

Effect of Immigrant Status on Risk of Depressive Symptoms Associated with Spouse’s Chronic Conditions

  • Jim P. Stimpson
  • Karl Eschbach
  • M. Kristen Peek
Original Paper


The aim of this prospective cohort study was to assess whether the prevalence of chronic disease of one spouse would be associated with a change in depressive symptoms of the other spouse and whether this relationship varies by immigrant status. Negative binomial regression was used to calculate risk ratios from a matched sample of 553 husbands and 553 wives aged 65 years or older of Mexican Americans. Overall, prevalence of chronic disease of one spouse was associated with change in high depressive symptoms for the other spouse. When the results were stratified by immigrant status, respondents born in the US exhibited higher risk of depressive symptoms associated with the chronic conditions of their spouse, while foreign born respondents did not exhibit higher risk for depressive symptoms. These findings highlight how immigrant status and the marital relationship may be related to chronic disease and depression.


Marriage Chronic disease Spouses Depression Mexican Americans Immigrants 



This research was supported by the National Institute of Aging (R01AG10939, R01AG21098, T32AG000270) and the National Cancer Institute (1 P50 CA105631-02). J.P. Stimpson was affiliated with the Sealy Center on Aging at the University of Texas Medical Branch during work on this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jim P. Stimpson
    • 1
  • Karl Eschbach
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. Kristen Peek
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Social and Behavioral SciencesUniversity of North Texas Health Science Center, Educational and Administration BuildingFort WorthUSA
  2. 2.Division of Geriatrics, Department of Internal MedicineUniversity of Texas Medical BranchGalvestonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Preventive Medicine and Community HealthUniversity of Texas Medical BranchGalvestonUSA

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