The Four-Factor Model of Depressive Symptoms in Dementia Caregivers: A Structural Equation Model of Ethnic Differences

David L. Roth, Michelle L. Ackerman, Ozioma C. Okonkwo, Louis D. Burgio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Previous studies have suggested that 4 latent constructs (depressed affect, well-being, interpersonal problems, somatic symptoms) underlie the item responses on the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) Scale. This instrument has been widely used in dementia caregiving research, but the fit of this multifactor model and the explanatory contributions of multifactor models have not been sufficiently examined for caregiving samples. The authors subjected CES-D data (N = 1,183) from the initial Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer's Caregiver Health Study to confirmatory factor analysis methods and found that the 4-factor model provided excellent fit to the observed data. Invariance analyses suggested only minimal item-loading differences across race subgroups and supported the validity of race comparisons on the latent factors. Significant race differences were found on 3 of the 4 latent factors both before and after controlling for demographic covariates. African Americans reported less depressed affect and better well-being than White caregivers, who reported better well-being and fewer interpersonal problems than Hispanic caregivers. These findings clarify and extend previous studies of race differences in depression among diverse samples of dementia caregivers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)567-576
Number of pages10
JournalPsychology and aging
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • caregiving
  • confirmatory factor analysis
  • depression
  • invariance
  • race/ethnicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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