Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 239–254

The Role of Religiousness/Spirituality and Social Networks in Predicting Depressive Symptoms among Older Korean Americans

  • Yeon-Shim Lee
  • So-Young Park
  • Soonhee Roh
  • Harold G. Koenig
  • Grace J. Yoo

DOI: 10.1007/s10823-017-9317-5

Cite this article as:
Lee, YS., Park, SY., Roh, S. et al. J Cross Cult Gerontol (2017) 32: 239. doi:10.1007/s10823-017-9317-5


This study (1) examined the effects of religiousness/spirituality and social networks as predictors of depressive symptoms in older Korean Americans and (2) compared the best predictors of depressive symptoms. A cross-sectional survey was conducted with 200 older Korean Americans residing in the New York City area in 2009. Best-subsets regression analyses were used to evaluate the best predictors of depressive symptoms. Nearly 30% of older Korean participants reported mild or severe depressive symptoms. The best model fit for depressive symptoms involved four predictors: physical health status, religious/spiritual coping skills, social networks, and annual household income. Social networks and religious/spiritual coping skills contributed significantly to the variance of depressive symptoms. Adding additional variables to the model did not enhance predictive and descriptive power. Religiousness/spirituality and social networks are important for coping with life stress and may be useful in developing effective health care strategies in the management of depression among older Korean Americans. Health education and intervention could be framed in ways that strengthen such coping resources for this population. Future research is needed to best guide prevention and intervention strategies.


Best-subsets regression analysis Mental health Korean American older adults Religiousness/spirituality Social networks 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yeon-Shim Lee
    • 1
  • So-Young Park
    • 2
  • Soonhee Roh
    • 3
  • Harold G. Koenig
    • 4
  • Grace J. Yoo
    • 5
  1. 1.School of Social WorkSan Francisco State UniversitySan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.Silver School of Social WorkNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of Social WorkUniversity of South DakotaSioux FallsUSA
  4. 4.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesDuke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA
  5. 5.Department of Asian American StudiesSan Francisco State UniversitySan FranciscoUSA

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