Chronic financial strain, social support, and depressive symptoms among older adults

Psychol Aging. 1987 Jun;2(2):185-92. doi: 10.1037//0882-7974.2.2.185.


The purpose of this study is twofold: one, to determine whether chronic financial strain is related to depressive symptoms among a random community sample of older adults, and two, to assess whether social support counterbalances or buffers the deleterious effects of financial strain. The findings suggest that elderly people suffering from financial strain are more likely to be depressed than are older adults with fewer financial problems. In addition, the data support the stress-buffering hypothesis, that is, that older people who have more informational support and who provide support to others, more often report fewer symptoms of depression as a result of financial strain than do elderly respondents who have less informational support and who do not provide support to others. Tangible and emotional support are found to be less effective coping resources when financial strain is present.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Aged
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Personality Tests
  • Poverty*
  • Social Environment*
  • Social Support*
  • Socioeconomic Factors*