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COUTINHO, Maria da Penha de Lima; GONTIES, Bernard; ARAUJO, Ludgleydson Fernandes de  and  SA, Roseane Christhina da Nova. Depression, a misery without border: social representations between children and elderly. PsicoUSF [online]. 2003, vol.8, n.2, pp. 183-192. ISSN 1413-8271.

Characterized as a qualitative and quantitative investigation, this empirical study was developed in two public schools and three social institutions for the elderly, in the city of João Pessoa/PB. The sample was a group of 32 children and 31 elders. The instruments used were Beck Depression Inventory, Children Depression Inventory, semi-structured interviews and the Technique of Free Association of Words. The data collected in the interviews were codified using a content analysis, and the answers analyzed with the Technique of Free Association of Words were processed through the software Tri-Deux-Mots. The results pointed out convergences and divergences about the conceptions, causes and treatments of depression. It was observed that the social actors representations possess as figurative elements the sadness and death, derived from traumatic situations, needs, social isolation and feelings of rejection. Also both the children and the elders not only apprehend their representations from the theoretical knowledge and informal communication, but also from the set of immediate problems they confront in the daily life.

Keywords : Depression; Social representation; Institutionalized elders; Children.

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