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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(1), 16; doi:10.3390/ijerph14010016

Changes in Depressive Symptoms among Older Adults with Multiple Chronic Conditions: Role of Positive and Negative Social Support

1
Division of Health Systems Management and Policy, School of Public Health, The University of Memphis, Memphis, TN 38152, USA
2
Department of Health Promotion and Community Health Sciences, School of Public Health, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
3
School of Economics, Singapore Management University, Singapore 178903, Singapore
4
Division of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Environmental Health, School of Public Health, The University of Memphis, Memphis, TN 38152, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Marcia G. Ory and Matthew Lee Smith
Received: 19 September 2016 / Revised: 16 December 2016 / Accepted: 19 December 2016 / Published: 26 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aging and Health Promotion)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [770 KB, uploaded 26 December 2016]   |  

Abstract

Depression severely affects older adults in the United States. As part of the social environment, significant social support was suggested to ameliorate depression among older adults. We investigate how varying forms of social support moderate depressive symptomatology among older adults with multiple chronic conditions (MCC). Data were analyzed using a sample of 11,400 adults, aged 65 years or older, from the 2006–2012 Health and Retirement Study. The current study investigated the moderating effects of positive or negative social support from spouse, children, other family, and friends on the association between MCC and depression. A linear mixed model with repeated measures was used to estimate the effect of MCC on depression and its interactions with positive and negative social support in explaining depression among older adults. Varying forms of social support played different moderating roles in depressive symptomatology among older adults with MCC. Positive spousal support significantly weakened the deleterious effect of MCC on depression. Conversely, all negative social support from spouse, children, other family, and friends significantly strengthened the deleterious effect of MCC on depression. Minimizing negative social support and maximizing positive spousal support can reduce depression caused by MCC and lead to successful aging among older adults. View Full-Text
Keywords: chronic illness; depression; social support; successful aging chronic illness; depression; social support; successful aging
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ahn, S.; Kim, S.; Zhang, H. Changes in Depressive Symptoms among Older Adults with Multiple Chronic Conditions: Role of Positive and Negative Social Support. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 16.

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