Depression and Chronic Health Conditions Among Latinos: The Role of Social Networks

J Immigr Minor Health. 2016 Dec;18(6):1292-1300. doi: 10.1007/s10903-016-0378-2.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the "buffering hypothesis" of social network characteristics in the association between chronic conditions and depression among Latinos. Cross-sectional self-report data from the San Diego Prevention Research Center's community survey of Latinos were used (n = 393). Separate multiple logistic regression models tested the role of chronic conditions and social network characteristics in the likelihood of moderate-to-severe depressive symptoms. Having a greater proportion of the network comprised of friends increased the likelihood of depression among those with high cholesterol. Having a greater proportion of women in the social network was directly related to the increased likelihood of depression, regardless of the presence of chronic health conditions. Findings suggest that network characteristics may play a role in the link between chronic conditions and depression among Latinos. Future research should explore strategies targeting the social networks of Latinos to improve health outcomes.

Keywords: Chronic diseases; Depression; Latinos; Social network; Social support.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chronic Disease / ethnology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / ethnology*
  • Female
  • Hispanic Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Self Report
  • Social Support*