Effects of acculturation and social network support on depression among elderly Korean immigrants

Bum Jung Kim, Cindy C. Sangalang, Taesuk Kihl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Objective: Acculturation and social network support have been identified as predictors of mental health for immigrant and elderly populations. The present study examined both independent and interactive effects of acculturation and social network support on depressive symptomatology among elderly Korean immigrants. Method: Self-reported measures included sociodemographic characteristics, acculturation, social network support, and depressive symptoms. This study used cross-sectional analysis of a community-based cohort. Results: After controlling for the effects of demographic variables, a robust hierarchical regression model indicated that social network support was negatively associated with depressive symptoms. Also, the interaction between acculturation and social network was significantly associated with lower levels of depressive symptoms (β=-0.29, p<0.05). In other words, elderly Korean immigrants who had high social network support and were highly acculturated exhibited lower levels of depression compared to those who had low support and were highly acculturated. Conclusion: Our findings call attention to the role of social network support in the mental health of elderly Korean immigrants. Service providers can develop strategies for decreasing depression by increasing social network support, especially with family members, among their elderly parents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)787-794
Number of pages8
JournalAging and Mental Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Acculturation
  • Depression
  • Elderly Korean immigrants
  • Social network support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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