Loneliness and depression among the elderly in an agricultural settlement: Mediating effects of social support

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Abstract

Introduction:

Loneliness has long been known to have strong association with depression. The relationship between loneliness and depression, however, has been associated with other risk factors including social support. The aim of this paper is to describe the role of social support in the association between loneliness and depression.

Methods:

This cross-sectional study examined the mediating effects of social support among 161 community-based elderly in agricultural settlement of a rural area in Sungai Tengi, Malaysia. Subjects were investigated with De Jong Gierveld Loneliness Scale, Geriatric Depression Scale and Medical Outcome Survey Social Support Survey. Data were analyzed using Pearson correlation, linear and hierarchical regression.

Results:

Results indicated that social support partially mediated the relationship between loneliness and depression.

Discussion:

This suggests that social support affects the linear association between loneliness and depression in the elderly.

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