|Title||Aging alone and financial insecurity predict depression: a path analysis of objective and subjective indices.|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2023|
|Authors||Choi, SL, Choi, JM, McDonough, IM, Jiang, Z, Black, SR|
|Journal||Aging Ment Health|
|Keywords||Depressive symptoms, financial insecurity, Living Alone, social isolation, Social Support|
OBJECTIVES: This study draws on conservation of resources theory and transactional stress theory to guide our understanding of how social isolation, financial insecurity, and social support serve as a balance of both risk and protection for late-life depression.
METHODS: Data were from the Leave-Behind Questionnaire in the 2016 ( = 4293) and 2018 ( = 4714) waves of the Health and Retirement Study. We conducted a cross-sectional path analysis via structural equation modeling, including objective and subjective perspectives. The same model was tested in both samples.
RESULTS: Both social isolation and financial insecurity were associated with depression. We found several mediating risks and protective factors of these relationships. Objective financial status affected depression through both perceived financial insecurity and perceived social isolation, whereas objective isolation affected depression through perceived social support. This mediation model was -significant after adjusting for confounders.
CONCLUSION: This study underscores the importance of investigating the balance between risk and protection for depression, in the rising number of older adults aging alone in society. Findings suggest that objective and perceived measures offer unique windows into psychological constructs. Considering both objective and subjective perspectives may provide alternative targets for subsequent interventions to improve mental health in later life.