Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Vonetta M. Dotson, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Tricia Z. King, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Jessica A. Turner, Ph.D.


The present study examined the relationship between subthreshold depressive symptoms and gray matter volume in subregions of the posterior cerebellum in middle-aged to older adults. Structural magnetic resonance imaging data from 38 adults aged 51 to 80 years were analyzed along with participants’ responses to the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale. Subscale scores for depressed mood, somatic symptoms, and lack of positive affect were calculated, and multiple regression analyses were used to examine the relationship between symptom dimensions and cerebellar volumes. Greater somatic symptoms of depression were significantly related to larger vermis VI volumes, as were total depressive scores. Exploratory analyses revealed that greater severity on the lack of positive affect subscale was related to larger vermis VIII volumes. These results support that depressive symptom profiles have unique relationships within the cerebellum that may be important as the field moves towards targeted treatment approaches for depression.


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