Social Activity and Depressive Symptoms in Korean American Older Adults: The Conditioning Role of Acculturation

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acculturation, social activity, depressive symptoms, Korean American elders

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Objective: This study examined the independent and interactive effects of acculturation and social activity on depressive symptoms.

Method: Using a sample of community-dwelling Korean American older adults (N = 675), hierarchical regression models of depressive symptoms were estimated with an array of predictors: (a) demographic variables, (b) health-related variables, (c) acculturation, (d) social activity, and (e) an interaction between acculturation and social activity.

Results: After controlling for the effects of demographic and health-related variables, both acculturation and social activity were identified as significant predictors. Moreover, their interaction was significant (β = .09, p < .05). Further analysis showed that the beneficial effect of social activity on mental health was particularly strong among those with lower levels of acculturation.

Discussion: Our findings suggest that enhancing opportunities for social engagement may serve to protect and promote the mental health of vulnerable older immigrants, particularly those who are less acculturated.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Journal of Aging and Health, v. 23, issue 5, p. 767-781