Immigrant status, living arrangements, and depressive symptoms among middle-aged and older adults.

TitleImmigrant status, living arrangements, and depressive symptoms among middle-aged and older adults.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsWilmoth, JM, Chen, P-C
JournalJ Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci
Date Published2003 Sep
ISSN Number1079-5014
Call Numberpubs_2003_Wilmoth-Chen.pdf
KeywordsAcculturation, Aged, Cross-Sectional Studies, depression, Emigration and Immigration, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Quality of Life, Residence Characteristics

OBJECTIVES: This research draws from social integration theory to explain the relationship between living arrangements and depressive symptoms among middle-aged and older adults. Particular attention is given to identifying differences between nonimmigrants and immigrants.

METHODS: The data come from the baseline and first 2-year follow-up of the Health and Retirement Study, which were collected in 1992 and 1994. The analysis is based on 6,391 primary respondents who were aged 51 to 61 at the baseline. Descriptive statistics, cross-sectional ordinary least squares regression models, and longitudinal residualized regression models are estimated for the entire sample and by immigrant status.

RESULTS: Living arrangements and immigrant status interact to influence depressive symptoms. The results confirm that depressive symptoms are higher among those who live alone, particularly among immigrants. Living with family or others is related to higher cross-sectional levels of depressive symptoms, especially for immigrants, and greater longitudinal increases in depressive symptoms among nonimmigrants.

DISCUSSION: The results highlight the important influence of social integration on mental health while demonstrating that context shapes the effect of social integration. They suggest that interventions should promote social integration, particularly among older adults living alone or with family or others. However, those programs should be sensitive to the unique needs of native-born and immigrant populations.

User Guide Notes

Endnote Keywords

Immigrants/Living Conditions/Depression

Endnote ID


Alternate JournalJ Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci
Citation Key6897
PubMed ID14507941
Grant List1-K07-AG1055-01 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States