Do Financial Constraints Affect Depressive Symptomatology Among Mid-Aged and Older Adults?

Martie Gillen, Karen A. Zurlo, Hyungsoo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

The relationship between financial constraints and depressive symptomatology among adults aged 50 and greater was examined. The mediating effect of perceived control over one’s financial circumstances on this relationship was assessed. Ordinary least square hierarchical regression models were estimated using data from the Health and Retirement Study. As an aggregated measure, financial constraints were positively associated with depression in mid-age and late life, and this relationship was partially accounted for by the pathway of perceived control over one’s financial circumstances. When disaggregated as a measure, financial constraints at the individual level had a significant effect on depression, while financial constraints at the family and public levels did not have a significant effect. When added to the model, perceived control over one’s financial circumstances had a significant effect on depressive symptomatology, financial constraints remained significant at the individual level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)438-455
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Aging and Human Development
Volume85
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
To address current financial burdens, mid-aged and older adults may turn to family members for financial assistance, specifically, adult children who can provide their older parents with upward intergenerational financial assistance (Koh & MacDonald, 2006). About 15% of older parents receive financial transfers from family members including adult children amounting to $1,259 annually (Zissimopoulos, 2001), and approximately 18% of unmarried older mothers receive money or time assistance from their adult children (Henretta, Soldo, & Van Voorhis, 2011). The Pew Research Center (2009) found that 14% of older parent respondents reported receiving financial support from their adult children, and among the respondents who had an older parent, 21% reported providing them with financial assistance. Receiving financial assistance from family members represents a financial constraint that may be stressful and burdensome to the borrower, so we hypothesize a positive relationship between the receipt of financial assistance from family members and depressive symptomatology.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, © The Author(s) 2017.

Keywords

  • depression
  • economic decision-making
  • emotional health
  • older adults
  • psychological well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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