The Associations of Social Networks on the Depressive Symptoms among Chinese Elderly: The Moderating Effect of ADL

Dan Tang , Renmin university of China
Jie Qiu, Qingyuan Polytechnic

Since the roles of family ties and friendship ties are contingent with the live situation, the effects of the two kinds of social networks on the mental health of older adults in non-Western contexts still need more discussion. This paper investigated the interplay among social networks (family networks and friendship networks), abilities of daily life (ADL) and depressive symptoms among Chinese older adults. 10 percent data from the Follow-up Survey on the Living Status of the Elderly from China Rural and Urban Areas in 2006 were used, with a valid sample of 1,897 elderly aged from 60 to 102. The results suggested that: 1) Both family ties (-0.13**) and friendship ties(-0.07**) are significantly negative associated with the depressive symptoms of elderly. (2) For the older adults without function disability, the association between friendship ties and depressive symptoms is stronger than that between family ties and depressive symptoms (-0.09* vs. -0.08); For the older adults with function disability, the direction is opposite (-0.10** vs. -0.16***). (3) The interaction of ADL (with disability) and family ties is significant (-0.08*), indicating that family ties have stronger protect effects on the older adults with function disability than that on those without disability.

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 Presented in Session 52. Mental Health of Older People