The influence of social networks and social support on health among older Koreans at high risk of depression

Haesang Jeon, Yeonseung Chung, Soondool Chung, Ahyoung Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Despite compelling evidence showing that social networks and social support are associated with depression, relatively little research is available on this topic for older Koreans at high risk of depression. This article aimed to examine the relationship among different types of social networks (family vs. friends), social support (instrumental vs. emotional), and perceived general health among older Koreans at high risk of depression. We would then test for possible differences in pathways between two age groups (60-74 years vs. 75 years and older). Methods: Using data from the 2008 Survey of Elderly Life and Welfare Need, age 60-74 years (n = 2,815) and age 75 years and older (n = 1,784) were analyzed separately. Path analyses were used to examine the relationships among social network, support, and health among Korean older adults at high risk of depression. Results: Findings highlighted the complex associations among social networks, social support, and perceived general health within old age. Moreover, this study called attention to the negative association between instrumental support from family networks and perceived general health among older Koreans aged 60-74 years at high risk of depression. Conclusions: The work discussed in this article would help inform the design of much needed and effective social intervention programs for the growing number of Korean older adults with depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-80
Number of pages11
JournalCare Management Journals
Volume17
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Depression
  • Older Koreans
  • Perceived health
  • Social networks
  • Social support

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