Ageing International

, Volume 42, Issue 4, pp 393–412 | Cite as

Using the Social Determinants of Health as a Framework to Examine and Address Predictors of Depression in Later Life

  • Bronwyn Cross-DennyEmail author
  • Michael A. Robinson


Depression in later life is an important public health concern. Comprehensive assessments incorporating all key areas of the social determinants of health (SDOH) framework can assist in developing effective interventions to ensure mental health for the increasing older adult population. This study uses the SDOH model for identifying, evaluating, and addressing risk factors that contribute to depression in older adults. Secondary data analysis of the Health and Retirement Study was used to conduct a hierarchical multiple regression analysis to examine predictors of depression in later life. The SDOH key areas were used as a framework for the regression model. The main findings showed predictors of depression were health and social support, emphasizing the importance of aging in place. Implications for practice include the provision of services within the home, neighborhood, and community to maintain older adults within the least restrictive environments where they can maximize healthy living and continue to maintain connections with their social support networks.


Older adults Neighborhood Aging in place Depression Social determinants of health 



First author wishes to acknowledge Meredith Hanson, DSW, who offered valuable guidance and insight for this project.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Bronwyn Cross-Denny declares that she has no conflict of interest. Michael A. Robinson declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Informed Consent

Human participants were not utilized in this study by any of the authors as it was a secondary data analysis. Informed consent was obtained by the Health and Retirement Study from all individual participants included in the study.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors. The study is based upon secondary data analysis of the Health and Retirement Study and permission was received to use the data.


This study did not receive any funding.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Social Work DepartmentSacred Heart UniversityFairfieldUSA
  2. 2.University Georgia School of Social WorkAthensUSA

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