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, 52 (6), 366-376

Perceived Discrimination, Depression, and the Role of Perceived Social Support as an Effect Modifier in Korean Young Adults

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Perceived Discrimination, Depression, and the Role of Perceived Social Support as an Effect Modifier in Korean Young Adults

Kwanghyun Kim et al. J Prev Med Public Health.

Abstract

Objectives: The relationships among discrimination, social support, and mental health have mostly been studied in minorities, and relevant studies in the general population are lacking. We aimed to investigate associations between discrimination and depressive symptoms in Korean non-minority young adults, considering the role of social support.

Methods: In total, 372 participants who completed the psychological examinations conducted in the third wave of the Jangseong High School Cohort study were included. We used the Everyday Discrimination Scale to evaluate perceived discrimination and the Beck Depression Inventory-II to measure depressive symptoms. Social support was measured by the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support. Multivariate linear regression was conducted to investigate associations between discrimination and depression, along with the effect modification of social support. We stratified the population by gender to investigate gender differences.

Results: Perceived discrimination was significantly associated with depressive symptoms (β=0.736, p<0.001), and social support was negatively associated with depression (β=-0.245, p<0.001). In men, support from friends was the most influential factor (β=-0.631, p=0.011), but no significant effect modification was found. In women, support from family was the most influential factor (β=-0.440, p=0.010), and women with higher familial support showed a significantly diminished association between discrimination and depression, unlike those with lower family support.

Conclusions: Discrimination perceived by individuals can lead to depressive symptoms in Korean young adults, and this relationship can may differ by gender and social support status.

Keywords: Depression; Discrimination; Korea; Social support.

Conflict of interest statement

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

The authors have no conflicts of interest associated with the material presented in this paper.

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