Age-friendly environments and depressive symptoms among Korean adults: The mediating effects of loneliness

So Young Park, Miri Kim, Soondool Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: In this study, we examined (1) group differences with regard to age-friendly environments (AFE), loneliness, and depressive symptoms among younger, middle-aged, and older Korean adults; (2) the relationship of AFE to loneliness and depressive symptoms; and (3) the mediating effect of loneliness on the relationship between AFE and depressive symptoms among three Korean adult groups. Method: We used a cross-sectional survey design featuring multistage quota sampling. Study participants were 1,017 Korean adults aged 18 years or older. Multi-group structural equation modeling was used for data analysis. Results: Statistically significant age group differences were found in the mean values of loneliness and depressive symptoms, but no significant age group differences in the mean values of AFE were observed. Older adults showed a significant relationship between AFE and loneliness, while their younger counterparts demonstrated a significant relationship between AFE and depressive symptoms. The mediating effect of loneliness on the association between AFE and depressive symptoms was found only for the older age group. Conclusion: The results of the study contribute to the existing understanding of AFE and mental health among Korean adults, while providing service providers and policy makers with fundamental background information on alleviating depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1060-1070
Number of pages11
JournalAging and Mental Health
Volume25
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Age-friendly environments
  • Korean older adults
  • depressive symptoms
  • loneliness

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