Gender inequalities in depression have been documented in numerous studies. However, the life phase of old age has received little attention in previous research.
Based on the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), this study addresses the following questions: How prevalent are depressive symptoms in Europe's older population? Are gender differences in depression a universal phenomenon across ages and countries? To what extent can gender differences in the prevalence of depression be attributed to inequalities in the living situation in old age? Are individual risk factors more relevant for women than for men - and vice versa? Does the degree to which depressive symptoms increase after widowhood differ by gender? And can sufficient financial resources and an intact social network attenuate mental health declines following widowhood?