University of Central Florida Undergraduate Research Journal - Gender Disparities in Depression in Elderly Puerto Ricans
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Gender Disparities in Depression in Elderly
Puerto Ricans

By: Arnaldo Perez-Negron | Mentor: Dr. Fernando Rivera


Utilizing data from the PREHCO, I analyzed gender differences in depression scores while simultaneously considering several variables as risk factors. My data shows differences in depression levels, as women have higher scores than men, and some variables seem to increase those scores in both genders. Even more potential risk factors for depression in elders living in Puerto Rico should be further analyzed to determine possible action plans to lessen their negative effects. To continue examining this issue, it would be beneficial to conduct another island-wide survey similar to the previous PREHCO, but aiming towards a deeper understanding of current depression rates in Puerto Rican elders and now, even more, after the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria, which destroyed the island recently. It is also important to target the potential weaknesses of the obtained data from the PREHCO, as it was from surveys of computerassisted personal interviews, face-to-face interviews and cognitive assessment tests in which participants could give unreliable answers. This work is of importance as the elderly population in Puerto Rico has been steadily increasing in the last couple of years, and in 2017, it was estimated that 23.9% of the population was 60 years of age or older, the second highest in the Caribbean, only behind the US Virgin Islands (Office of the Procurator of People of Advanced Age, 2017).

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