Association Between Perceived Social Support and Depressive Symptoms Among Community-Dwelling Older Chinese Americans.Gerontol Geriatr Med 2018 Jan-Dec; 4:2333721418778194GG
Purpose: This study examined the association between social support and depressive symptoms among U.S. Chinese older adults.
Methods: Data were from the Population Study of Chinese Elderly in Chicago (PINE) study. Independent variables were positive and negative perceived social support (PSS). Dependent variable was depressive symptoms. Multinomial logistic regression analyses were performed.
Results: A total of participants were 3,157 Chinese older adults with the mean age of 72.8 years (range 60-105 years). After controlling for confounding factors, Chinese older adults with higher positive PSS were 12% (odds ratio [OR] = 0.88, 95% confidence interval [CI] = [0.85, 0.92]) and 18% (OR = 0.82, 95% CI = [0.79, 0.86]) less likely to report mild and moderate-severe depressive symptoms, respectively, compared to reporting minimal depressive symptoms; On the contrary, Chinese older adults with higher negative PSS were 34% (OR = 1.34, 95% CI = [1.24, 1.46]) and 38% (OR = 1.38, 95% CI = [1.26, 1.52]) more likely to report mild and moderate-severe depressive symptoms, respectively. Discussion: The study findings corroborate previous research that social support is significantly associated with depressive symptoms. Our findings reinforce the importance of developing strategies to utilize positive social support and limit negative support in practice for the depressed older adults. Further studies should be conducted to better understand the associations between different dimensions of social support and depression among U.S. Chinese older adults.