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Epidemiology of Depression and Help-Seeking Behavior, 1979-1983, Los Angeles, California (ICPSR 24761)

Principal Investigator(s):


This project examined the epidemiological distribution of depression in a large metropolitan area. It employed structural equation models to examine the role of stress and social support systems in the occurrence of the condition. Other analysis focused on the antecedents of help-seeking. Using a multistage cluster sample, a probability sample of 1,003 adults (aged 18 and older), a representative sample of the Los Angeles County population, was interviewed in 1979. Three follow-up interviews were conducted over the next year, with an additional fifth interview in 1983. The study has been divided into five parts identified as: Time1, Time2, Time3, Time4, and Time5. Time1 focuses on demographic information, such as marital status, employment status, education, family relationships, household information, sex, and ethnicity. The other main focus of Time1 was on respondents' general health condition and their health insurance. Time2, Time3, Time4, and Time5 focus on diagnostic aspects of depression, social support, the role of stress, in addition to asking respondents questions regarding their behavior and mood, environmental and employment changes, and major life events.

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Study Description


Aneshensel, Carol S., and Ralph Frerichs. Epidemiology of Depression and Help-Seeking Behavior, 1979-1983, Los Angeles, California. ICPSR24761-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2010-03-15. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR24761.v1

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This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institute of Mental Health (1R01MH032267)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   depression (psychology), emotional states, employment, epidemiology, ethnicity, family relationships, health insurance, health status, life events, smoking, stress

Smallest Geographic Unit:   Census tract

Geographic Coverage:   California, Los Angeles

Time Period:  

  • 1979--1983

Date of Collection:  

  • 1979--1980
  • 1983

Universe:   Adults over the age of 18 living in the community in Los Angeles County in 1979.

Data Types:   survey data


Sample:   A multistage cluster sample of Census tracts, blocks, households, individuals.

Weight:   Study contains weights.

Mode of Data Collection:   face-to-face interview, telephone interview

Response Rates:   Out of 1,531 eligible households, 1,003 individuals were interviewed (66 percent), 365 refused (24 percent), and 163 were inaccessible due to various reasons. Of those interviewed at Time1, 674 were reinterviewed at Time5 and 602 participated in all 5 interviews.

Presence of Common Scales:   Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression (CES-D) Scale

Extent of Processing:  ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Created variable labels and/or value labels.
  • Created online analysis version with question text.
  • Performed recodes and/or calculated derived variables.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:  



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