Correlates of depression in the Korean American elderly: focusing on personal resources of social support

Journal of Cross-cultural Gerontology
Hae-Ra HanKim B Kim

Abstract

Today's Korean American elderly are predominantly first-generation immigrants who face stern challenges of acculturation, which is often associated with depression. Social support has been identified as an effective personal resource for alleviating acculturative stress and achieving better mental health outcomes. The purposes of this study were to describe available sources of social support utilized by Korean elders and to examine the relationships among acculturative stress, social support, and depression. In particular, social support was operationalized as an integrative concept encompassing the size of the social network, satisfaction with the support received, and appraisals of the level of social support. This study was a secondary data analysis of an existing survey of 205 elderly Korean immigrants (>or=60 years) in a major metropolitan city on the East coast. Adult children were found to be the main source of support utilized by elders, even when the elder had a living spouse. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis revealed that higher acculturative stress and lower social support were associated with higher depression scores after demographics and health status were controlled for, whereas network size and satisfa...Continue Reading

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