Health perception and depressive symptoms among older Korean Americans

Yuri Jang, Giyeon Kim, David A. Chiriboga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Given the increasing recognition of racial/ethnic health disparities, the present study focused on older Korean Americans. Using data from 230 older Korean Americans in Florida (M age=69.8, SD=7.05), we assessed (a) how background variables (demographic information and acculturation), health constraints (chronic conditions and functional disability), and psychosocial factors (sense of mastery and filial satisfaction) were associated with health perception and depressive symptoms; and (b) whether health perception mediated the connections between health constraints and depressive symptoms. We observed positive perceptions of health and emotional states among individuals with higher levels of acculturation, fewer chronic conditions, less disability, and a greater sense of mastery. We also found that persons who were more satisfied with their relationships with adult children and who had more positive health perception were less depressed. Additionally, the findings supported a mediation model of health perception in the linkages between physical and mental health. Findings and implications are discussed here in a cultural context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-102
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Dec 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This research was supported by a startup grant from the University of South Florida. We would like to thank the Korean elders who participated in the project. Special appreciation goes to the members of the Tampa Korean Elderly Association and the Orlando Korean Senior Center.


  • Depressive symptoms
  • Health perception
  • Older Korean Americans


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