Marital Quality and Depressive Symptoms among Older Hispanic Adults in the United States.

TitleMarital Quality and Depressive Symptoms among Older Hispanic Adults in the United States.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of PublicationForthcoming
AuthorsNazario-Acevedo, JM, Yamashita, T, Bulanda, JRoebuck, J Brown, S
JournalJournal of Applied Gerontology, Series B, Psychological Sciences and social sciences
ISSN Number1758-5368
KeywordsCultural factors, health-related quality of life, Marriage, Social Support

OBJECTIVES: Despite the cultural importance of marriage as a social support system and its well-established link to mental health, older Hispanic adult populations, which are the largest racial and ethnic minoritized groups, remain understudied. The current study examined how positive and negative dimensions of marital quality are associated with depressive symptoms.

METHODS: Data from Hispanic adults aged 51 years and older (n = 1,012) were obtained from the 2016 and 2018 Health and Retirement Study (HRS) waves. The CES-D scale (0-8 symptoms) was modeled as a function of positive and negative marital quality measures (1-4), as well as the relevant covariates.

RESULTS: Results from a negative binomial regression model showed that a one-unit change in positive and negative marital quality was associated with a 23.61% reduction and a 23.74% increase, respectively, in depressive symptoms. The interaction terms with marital quality and gender, as well as marital quality and religion, were not statistically significant.

DISCUSSION: In the U.S., a large percentage of older Hispanic adults are immigrants, and their extended family tends to reside in their countries of origin. As such, older Hispanic adults may have smaller social networks, and marital quality most likely represents a culturally important social support network in later life. Significant associations between depressive symptoms and marital quality among older Hispanic adults should receive more attention in family and public health policy discussions, particularly given the increasing diversity in U.S. society.

Citation Key13825
PubMed ID38459920