The role of social capital in the relationship between physical constraint and mental distress in older adults: a latent interaction model

Sok An, Yuri Jang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Building upon the widely known link between physical and mental health, the present study explored the buffering effects of social capital (indicated by social cohesion, social ties, and safety) in the relationship between physical constraint (indicated by chronic conditions and functional disability) and mental distress (indicated by symptoms of depression and anxiety). Method: Using data from 2,264 community-dwelling older adults in the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (NSHAP) Wave 2 (Mage = 74.51, SD = 6.67), a latent interaction model was tested. The model of mental distress, including both the main effect of physical constraint and social capital and their latent interaction, presented an excellent fit. Results: The latent constructs of physical constraint (β =.54, p <.001) and social capital (β = –.11, p <.01) not only had a direct effect on mental distress, but their interaction was also significant (β = –.26, p <.001). Subgroup analysis showed that the group with a low level of social capital had a heightened vulnerability to mental distress when faced with physical constraint, whereas the group with a high level of social capital demonstrated resilience. Conclusion: Findings call attention to ways to enhance older individuals' social capital in efforts to promote their health and well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-249
Number of pages5
JournalAging and Mental Health
Volume22
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • Social capital
  • latent interaction model
  • mental distress
  • physical constraint

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