Gender differences in the association between socioeconomic status (SES) and depressive symptoms in older adults
Back, JH; Lee, Y
Archives of gerontology and geriatrics, 52(3):e140-e144, 2011
Archives of gerontology and geriatrics
With rapid population aging, increasing attention is given to the mental health of older people. This study examined the association between SES and depressive symptoms in older adults. The study population consisted of a representative community sample of 4165 persons aged 65 and older from Wave 1 of the Korean Longitudinal Study of Aging. The Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale was used to measure the extent of depressive symptoms. Socioeconomic indicators included education, household income, and net worth. Analyses were conducted by gender, using multiple linear regression analysis, to identify independent effects of socioeconomic variables on depressive symptoms, controlling for demographics and health-related variables. There was an inverse association between higher levels of socioeconomic factors and depressive symptoms in the study population. A clear difference in the association between depressive symptoms and socioeconomic factors by gender was observed. In the multivariate analysis, wealth was significantly associated with depressive symptoms in men, whereas education and income was so in women. Gender disparities in depressive symptoms across social gradients suggest the need for gender-sensitive investments in health and social services for the disadvantaged segments of the older population.
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