Original Paper

Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 7-12

First online:

Changes in Perceived Health and Depressive Symptoms: A Longitudinal Analysis with Older Korean Americans

  • Yuri JangAffiliated withDepartment of Aging and Mental Health, Florida Mental Health Institute, University of South Florida Email author 
  • , David A. ChiribogaAffiliated withDepartment of Aging and Mental Health, Florida Mental Health Institute, University of South Florida
  • , Giyeon KimAffiliated withCollege of Health Professions, Temple University
  • , Soyeon ChoAffiliated withDepartment of Aging and Mental Health, Florida Mental Health Institute, University of South Florida

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Abstract

The present study examined changes in the perceived health of older Korean Americans (n = 141) over a 2-year period: 2003 (T1) and 2005 (T2). A hierarchical regression model of changes in perceived health was estimated with the following array of predictors: (1) background variables (age, gender, marital status, education, and length of stay in the United States), (2) initial perceived health (T1), (3) physical and mental health conditions at T1 (chronic conditions, functional disability, and depressive symptoms), and (4) changes in physical and mental health conditions (T2 − T1). When the effects of background variables and baseline perceived health were controlled, baseline chronic conditions and changes in both chronic conditions and depressive symptoms were found to predict changes in perceived health. Older individuals who initially had more chronic conditions and those who had experienced an increasing number of chronic conditions and depressive symptoms over 2 years viewed their health more negatively at follow-up. Findings highlight the importance of interventions for disease management and mental health promotion to enhance subjective health among older Korean immigrants.

Keywords

Health Depression Korean American Elders