Objective: This research has two primary goals: to examine the relationship between urban residence and trajectories of depressive symptoms and to investigate whether this relationship differs by social isolation and loneliness.
Method: Data are from 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2016 waves of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults aged 51+ (n = 3,346 females and 2,441 males). We conduct latent growth curve analysis to predict both baseline and trajectories of depression based on urban or rural residency.
Results: Residing in urban or rural areas is neither significantly associated with baseline nor the development of late-life depressive symptoms. For females, the relationship between urban residence and baseline depressive symptoms is explained by socioeconomic factors.
Discussion: Findings of this study serve to better understand how social and geographic contexts shape long-term well-being of older adults.
Keywords: age-based growth curve; depressive symptoms; geographic differences; later life; rurality.