The Relations of Social Network Types With Mental Distress Among Older Korean Americans: The Interactive Role of Living Arrangement

Res Aging. 2022 Feb;44(2):111-122. doi: 10.1177/0164027521999780. Epub 2021 Mar 8.


The purpose of this study is to identify social network types in older Korean Americans and to examine their direct associations, as well as interactions with living arrangement, on mental distress. Drawn from the Study of Older Korean Americans (SOKA), participants were aged 60 or over and lived in five states. Analyses included 2,140 cases surveyed during 2017-2018. To identify social network types, latent profile analyses were conducted using 10 network-related criterion variables. A model with five social network types was identified as best fit. The groups were labeled as diverse, moderately diverse, family deficit, friend deficit, and restricted. As hypothesized, greater mental distress was associated with belonging to more deprived networks such as family deficit and restricted groups. Interaction effects also suggest that members of the restricted group were more distressed when they lived alone than when they lived with others. Implications based on the results are discussed.

Keywords: living arrangement; mental distress; older Korean Americans; social network types.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Asian*
  • Emotions
  • Friends
  • Humans
  • Social Networking
  • Social Support*