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Journal Article

Diabetes and depressive symptoms among Korean American older adults: the mediating role of subjective health perceptions

PURPOSE: In recognition of the impact of chronic diseases on mental health and the lack of research on Asian American subgroups, the present study examined subjective perceptions of health as a potential mediator in the association between diabetes and depressive symptoms in Korean American older adults. METHODS: Multivariate analysis with data from 672 Korean American older adults in Florida explored the mediation model of health perceptions. RESULTS: The presence of diabetes was associated with negative perceptions of health and elevated symptoms of depression. The proposed mediation model was also supported: negative perceptions of health served as an intervening step between diabetes and depressive symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: The intervening role of health perceptions yields implications for developing health promotion interventions targeting older individuals with diabetes. Results suggest that even in the presence of chronic health conditions, mental well-being of older adults can be maintained by having optimistic beliefs and positive attitudes towards their own health.

Y. Jang
N.S. Park
S. Cho
S. Roh
D.A. Chiriboga
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