Previous work suggests that red environmental noise can lead to the spurious appearance of delayed density dependence (DDD) in unstructured populations regulated only by direct density dependence. We analysed the effect of noise reddening on the pattern of spurious DDD in several variants of the density–dependent age–structured population model. We found patterns of spurious DDD in structured populations with either density–dependent fertility or density–dependent survival of the first age class, inconsistent with predictions from unstructured population models. Moreover, we found that non–spurious negative DDD always emerges in populations with deterministic chaotic dynamics, regardless of population structure or the type of environmental noise. The effect of noise reddening in generating spurious DDD is often negligible in the chaotic region of population deterministic dynamics. Our findings suggest that differences in species' life histories may exhibit different patterns of spurious DDD (owing to noise reddening) than predicted by unstructured models.