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Aging Ment Health. 2005 May;9(3):210-22.

Determinants of psychological distress over time among older Korean immigrants and Non-Hispanic White elders: evidence from a two-wave panel study.

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  • 1School of Social Work, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92182, USA.


The purpose of this study is to examine racial/ethnic differences in the change of psychological distress as measured by CES-D over time and its associated factors between older Korean immigrants and non-Hispanic White elders, based on a social stress perspective. Data come from a two-wave panel survey of 172 older Korean immigrants and 157 non-Hispanic White elders, with a follow-up period of 12 to 15 months. The sample was drawn from a three-stage probability sampling method. Ordinary least square regressions in a hierarchical process and change score method were used to analyze the two-wave panel data. Older Korean immigrants reported higher levels of psychological distress than the non-Hispanic White elderly at both Time 1 and Time 2. Changes in self-assessed health status and functional limitations were significantly associated with change in psychological distress for both ethnic groups. Increased social support significantly decreased psychological distress at Time 2, for older Korean immigrants only. This study discusses practice and policy implications for service and interventions for older immigrants to assist their adjustment to a host society.

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