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Social Participation and Depression among Elderly People in Greece

Description: The researcher had two objectives: first, explore how social involvement changes by age among Greek elderly, and second, examine the relationship between social involvement and depression by age among study participants, controlled for education, marital status, and gender. The researcher used data from the 2004 Survey of Health, Aging, and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) database subjecting a sample of 2,898 elderly aged 50 or older to analysis in terms of the study questions. Approximately 43% of the participants (n = 1,244) were males and 57% were females (n = 1,654). Study results showed Greek elderly participated more in religious activities and less in non-religious activities with increasing age. The study results showed the level of education did not have an effect on the level of religious or non-religious participation. Marital status could influence Greeks’ tendency to participate in religious activities, however, it did not have an effect on non-religious participation. Women are more likely to participate in religious activities than the men. The gender of the participants did not have an effect on non-religious participation. Older Greek elderly were more likely to be depressed than the younger elderly. Participation in religious activities was not shown to relate to decreasing the risk of depressive symptoms; while participation in non-religious activities increased it. Further elaboration showed that caring for family increased the risk of depressive symptoms. Participation in other non-religious activities did not show significant relationships to depressive symptoms. The study findings imply those caring for others are in need of social and mental health support services; and the quality of available social activities need significant improvement.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Simmons, Daniela
Partner: UNT Libraries