Does a reciprocal relationship exist between social engagement and depression in later life?

Joonmo Son*, Pildoo Sung

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: We examine if reciprocal associations exist between formal and informal social engagement and depression in older adults. 

Method: We apply dynamic panel-data structural equation models accompanied with the maximum likelihood estimator (ML-SEM) to the seven waves of data of the Korean Longitudinal Study of Aging (KLoSA). 

Results: Formal social engagement in and through various voluntary groups exerts both cross-lagged and proximal effects in lessening depressive symptoms. In contrast, informal social engagement with familiar persons exhibits only proximal association with depression. Conversely, depression does not reciprocate a cross-lagged effect on either type of social engagement. 

Conclusion: The study confirms that formal social engagement in and through various voluntary groups produces a protective effect against depression for older adults across time, supporting the mental health advantage of formal engagement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-80
Number of pages11
JournalAging and Mental Health
Volume27
Issue number1
Early online date7 Jan 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Psychiatric Mental Health
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

User-Defined Keywords

  • Formal engagement
  • depression
  • reciprocal relationship
  • ML-SEM

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