Daily Spiritual Experiences, Social Support, and Depression Among Elderly Korean Immigrants
Aging & Mental Health
Objectives: This study examined the associations of daily spiritual experiences (DSE) and social support with depression to find viable coping resources and enhance the quality of life among elderly Korean immigrants.
Method: We used Smith's (2003) theory of religious effects and Baron and Kenny's (1986) approach for mediation analysis to explain the mediating role of social support between DSE and depression. The sample consisted of 200 elderly Korean immigrants who were aged 65 or older (mean age = 72.5, range = 65–89) living in the New York City Metropolitan area. Hierarchical regression model was used with SPSS version 17.0 to analyze cross-sectional data.
Results: Elderly Korean immigrants in the present sample were found to be moderately engaged in DSE but not experiencing a fair level of social support. Respondents reported no depression on the average but 30% of them (60 out of 200 respondents) were experiencing mild to severe depression. Both DSE and social support were inversely related with depression, and the relationship between DSE and depression was mediated by social support.
Conclusion: These findings are only suggestive and should not be generalized to a larger population. However, this study supports the importance of DSE and social support in the life of elderly Korean immigrants as a way to alleviate depression. Mental health professionals may consider facilitating social network when elderly Korean immigrants suffer from depression.
spirituality, social network, Korean older adults, depressive symptoms, mental health
Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social Work
Park, Jisung and Roh, Soonhee, "Daily Spiritual Experiences, Social Support, and Depression Among Elderly Korean Immigrants" (2013). Department of Social Work. 41.