We examined the relationship between living alone and the prevalence of depressive symptoms in older Korean widows and assessed the individual contributions of health, social ties, and socioeconomic factors to the development of depressive symptoms. The study was a secondary analysis using data from widows, 65 years of age and older, who participated in the Living Profiles of Older People Survey (LPOPS). A logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate the contributions of health, social ties, and socioeconomic factors to the development of depressive symptoms. Working status and equivalent household income were significantly associated with depressive symptoms in both those living with others and those living alone. Adjustment for health status and social ties did not change the impact of living alone on the prevalence of depressive symptoms. However, adjustment for equivalent household income eliminated the negative association between living alone and depressive symptoms. Our findings indicate that economic resources are more important than health and social ties for alleviating the negative impact of living alone on the development of depressive symptoms in older widows.
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