Social relationships as predictors of depression and suicidal ideation in older adults

R. K. Vanderhorst, Suzanne McLaren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

137 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The prevalence of depression and suicidal ideation among older adults is considered to be a major mental health concern among this age group. The present study investigated the human relatedness variables of marital status, social support resources and sense of belonging as predictors of depression and suicidal ideation in older adults. A community sample of 110 older adults (M age 76.67 years, SD = 8.11) completed the Social Support Subscale of the Coping Resources Inventory, the Sense of Belonging Instrument, the Zung Depression Inventory and the Suicide Subscale of the General Health Questionnaire. Results indicated that fewer social support resources were associated with higher levels of depression and suicidal ideation. Sense of belonging to the community was not an additional predictor of mental health. The results of the present study suggest that enhancing social support resources in older adults could reduce depression and suicidal ideation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)517-525
Number of pages9
JournalAging and Mental Health
Volume9
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Nov 2005

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