Background: Anxiety and depression are common in older adult public housing residents and frequently co-occur. To understand anxiety and depression more fully in this socioeconomically disadvantaged population, this study relies on the Social Antecedent Model of Psychopathology to characterize anxiety and depression symptoms concurrently.
Methods: 190 public housing residents aged 60 years and older in Rochester, New York, participated in a research interview during which they reported on variables across the six stages of the Social Antecedent Model. GAD-7 and PHQ-9 assessed anxiety and depression symptoms, respectively.
Results: In these older adult residents, anxiety and depression symptom severity scores were correlated (r = 0.61; p < 0.001). Correlates of anxiety and depression symptom severity were similar for both outcomes and spanned the six stages of the Social Antecedent Model. Multivariate linear regression models identified age, medical comorbidity, mobility, social support, maladaptive coping, and recent life events severity as statistically significant correlates. The regression models accounted for 43% of anxiety and 48% of depression symptom variability.
Conclusions: In public housing residents, late-life anxiety and depression symptoms were moderately correlated. Anxiety symptom severity correlates were largely consistent with those found for depression symptom severity. The broad distribution of correlates across demographic, social, medical, and behavioral domains suggests that the context of late-life anxiety and depression symptomatology in public housing is complex and that multidisciplinary collaborative care approaches may be warranted in future interventions.