• Patricia A. Areán
  • Heather Uncapher
  • Derek Satre
Part of the The Springer Series in Adult Development and Aging book series (SSAD)


For many decades our society believed that to be old was to be depressed. To some extent the myth is still pervasive that with old age comes problems with health, finances, and loss of friends, family, and purpose. If one thinks this way, one would certainly believe that the later years of life constitute a bleak time that is hopeless and bereft of any joy. However, recent research has indicated that this belief is not an accurate picture of later life. According to the McArthur Foundation Successful Aging studies, the process of aging is variable; not everyone who ages becomes disabled, dissatisfied with life, or depressed (Curb et al., 1990). These findings are further corroborated by the results of the Epidemio-logical Catchment Area Study, which demonstrated that Major Depression (one of the most serious and widely studied of the mood disorders) is less prevalent in people over the age of 65 than it is in younger age groups: 1% of older adults had a lifetime prevalence of Major Depression whereas 6% of younger adults had a Major Depressive Episode in their lives (Robins et al., 1984).


Depressive Symptom Depressive Disorder Major Depressive Disorder Major Depressive Disorder Stressful Life Event 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patricia A. Areán
    • 1
  • Heather Uncapher
    • 2
  • Derek Satre
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of California-San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of California-BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA

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