Objectives: The aim of the study was to analyze the association between secure attachment style, loneliness, and social network as risk factors for late-life depression.
Methods: This cross-sectional study examined 969 subjects of the KORA-Age study. We applied the Relationship-Specific Attachment Scales for Adults (Beziehungsspezifische Bindungsskalen für Erwachsene, BBE), the UCLA Loneliness Scale, and the Social Network Index (SNI). Depression was operationalized through the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS-15) and/or use of antidepressants. Logistic-regression models were calculated, sex-stratified, and controlled for age and living status.
Results: For men, lower depression scores were associated with higher attachment security scores (OR = 0.26, 95% CI = 0.15-0.44) and not reporting feelings of loneliness (OR = 0.27, 95% CI = 0.14-0.53). For women, independent determinants of not having late life depression consist of not feeling lonely (OR = 0.22, 95% CI = 0.13-0.38).
Discussion: Loneliness is a risk factor for late life depression in women and men, attachment style is a risk factor more for men, while social network size is not a risk factor.