Social-economic environments and depressive symptoms in community-dwelling adults: A multi-level analysis for two nationwide datasets in Taiwan

Susan C. Hu, Yu Hsuan Tsai, Der Chiang Li, Wan Chen Hsu, Nuan Ching Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Most studies have focused on factors associated with depression at the individual level, and evidence on ecological models linking social-economic features with depression is rare in Taiwan. This study aimed to use multi-level analysis to explore the effects of social-economic environments on depressive symptoms among Taiwanese adults. The 2009 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and the Age-Friendly Environments database were linked in this study. A total of 6602 adults aged 20 years and older were included in the analysis. A Chinese version of the 10-item CESD was used as the outcome measure. Three social indicators (population density, divorce rate, and crime rate) and three economic indicators (unemployment rate, per capita disposable income, and per capita government expenditures) at the ecological level were examined. Results showed that two social environments and two economic features were significantly associated with depressive symptoms. However, the effects of these factors were different by gender and age groups. The economic environments were critical for males and young adults aged 20–44 years old, whereas the social environments were significant for females and middle-aged and older adults. Intervention efforts for depression prevention should integrate ecological approaches into the effects of social-economic environments on depressive symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7487
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume18
Issue number14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jul 2

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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