Depression and infrequent participation in social activities among older adults: the moderating role of high-quality familial ties

Kristy Reisig, Michael Reisig, Jillian J. Turanovic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: The primary objective of this study is to investigate whether depression is associated with reduced participation in social activities among older adults. Additionally, this study assesses whether high-quality familial ties diminish the negative association between depression and social activities. Methods: Using cross-sectional telephone interview data from a sample of individuals 60 years of age and older in Arizona and Florida (N = 2000), this study estimates a series of linear regression models to assess the relationship between depression and social activities, and test whether this association is conditioned by high-quality familial ties using multiplicative interaction terms. Results: As expected, an inverse relationship between depression and social activities is observed. Delving deeper, the regression models reveal that the depression–inactivity association is weaker among older individuals with strong, positive ties to spouses and children. Additional tests demonstrate the mere of existence of familial bonds provides no meaningful benefit – the quality of such ties matters. Conclusion: Findings support the theoretical argument that high-quality familial ties provide supportive coping resources that buffer individuals from the undesirable consequences associated with depression. Moving forward, longitudinal research on the causal links between depression and infrequent participation in social and leisure activities among older adults is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAging and Mental Health
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Oct 1 2015

Keywords

  • depression
  • familial ties
  • older adults
  • social activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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