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Paper Information

Journal:   IRANIAN JOURNAL OF PUBLIC HEALTH   JULY 2014 , Volume 43 , Number 7; Page(s) 903 To 912.
 
Paper: 

WHICH TYPE OF SOCIAL ACTIVITIES DECREASE DEPRESSION IN THE ELDERLY? AN ANALYSIS OF A POPULATION-BASED STUDY IN SOUTH KOREA

 
 
Author(s):  SEUNG HEE LEE, KIM YOUNG BUM*
 
* HALLYM UNIVERSITY INSTITUTE OF AGING, HALLYM UNIVERSITY, CHUNCHEON, SOUTH KOREA
 
Abstract: 

Background: The aim of this study was to examine whether formal and informal social activities are associated with a lower risk of depression. Besides, we investigated which type of social activities may protect against late-life depression by gender using data from a population-based study of older Korean adults.
Methods: Data for analysis were drawn from the 2010 Korean Longitudinal Study of Aging. Study sample included 3968 Korean adults aged ? 65 years. Depression was measured using the 10-item Center for Epidemiological Studies–Depression scale. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were used.
Results: Among the informal activities, frequent contact by phone or letters with adult children is significantly associated with a lower risk of depression among older Korean adults, even after adjusting for potentially confounding factors. Face to face contact with close friends was negatively associated with depression in women, but not in men.
Face to face contacts with adult children were not significantly associated with depression. All of formal social activities (attending religious activities, volunteering, and participating in alumni society or family councils, political or interest groups) were not significantly associated with depression in both men and women.
Conclusions: Informal social activities (contact by phone/letters with children and contact with friends) may have a greater impact on geriatric depression than formal social activities in this population. Researchers need to consider gender differences when examining the relationship between social activity and depression. More research is warranted to examine the direction of associations between particular types of social activities and late-life depression across time.

 
Keyword(s): SOCIAL ACTIVITY, DEPRESSION, GENDER, ELDERLY, KOREA
 
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