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Loneliness, age at immigration, family relationships, and depression among older immigrants: A moderated relationship

Authors
  • Jang, Heejung1
  • Tang, Fengyan2
  • 1 Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
  • 2 School of Social Work, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of social and personal relationships
Publication Date
Dec 15, 2021
Volume
39
Issue
6
Pages
1602–1622
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1177/02654075211061279
PMID: 35747127
PMCID: PMC9216219
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Article
License
Unknown

Abstract

Guided by a convoy model of social relations, this study explores the complex relationships between loneliness, age at immigration, familial relationships, and depressive symptoms among older immigrants. This study used 2010 Health and Retirement Study data from a sample of 575 immigrants (52% female, age range 65–99 years). Ordinary least squares regression models were estimated. The findings indicate that for older immigrants who came to the United States at age 45 or older, loneliness was significantly positively associated with depressive symptoms. Further, perceived negative strain and hours spent helping family moderated this relationship such that the effect of loneliness on depressive symptoms was stronger among respondents who perceived more negative family strain and spent fewer hours helping family. Familial relationships are crucial for the psychological well-being of older immigrants because they can be a source of either stress or support. The results have implications for how research and practices can support the immigrant families.

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