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Psicothema was founded in Asturias (northern Spain) in 1989, and is published jointly by the Psychology Faculty of the University of Oviedo and the Psychological Association of the Principality of Asturias (Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos del Principado de Asturias).
We currently publish four issues per year, which accounts for some 100 articles annually. We admit work from both the basic and applied research fields, and from all areas of Psychology, all manuscripts being anonymously reviewed prior to publication.

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Psicothema, 2007. Vol. Vol. 19 (nº 1). 49-56




Afectos y depresión en la tercera edad

Visitación Alcalá, Manuel Camacho y José Giner

Universidad de Sevilla

La depresión se considera uno de los trastornos mentales de mayor complejidad en la tercera edad. Las dificultades diagnósticas por la comorbilidad, sobre todo con enfermedades somáticas, han puesto en crisis la utilización de los instrumentos diagnósticos para la depresión en la tercera edad. En este estudio se pretende analizar si existen diferencias en la afectividad de la depresión de la tercera edad respecto a la depresión de la edad adulta. Para ello se aplicó la escala Panas-X a 120 sujetos (30 pacientes depresivos mayores de 65 años, 30 pacientes depresivos entre 25 y 50 años y dos grupos controles de 30 sujetos cada uno). Los datos permiten establecer dos diferencias fundamentales de la depresión en la tercera edad frente a la depresión en el adulto: una menor intensidad de la afectividad negativa y una menor intensidad en los afectos de miedo, hostilidad y culpa. También se concluye que la tristeza no es un elemento diferenciador entre ambas poblaciones depresivas.

Affections and depression in the elderly. Depression is considered one of the most complex mental disorders in the elderly. The diagnostic difficulties due to comorbidity, especially, with somatic diseases, have cast doubt on the use of diagnostic instruments for the elderly. In the present study, we try to determine the existence of differences in affect of third-age depression with respect to adult-age depression. For this purpose, the Panas-X scale was administered to 120 subjects (30 depressive patients over 65 years old, 30 depressive patients between 25 and 50, and two control groups of 30 people each). The data allow us to establish two major differences of depression in the elderly compared to depression in adults: a lower intensity of negative affect and a lower intensity in the affects of fear, hostility and guilt. We can also conclude that sadness is not a differentiating element between both depressive groups.

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