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Social comparison in Chinese older adults

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Depression is quite common among the elderly members of Hong Kong Chinese society. This study examined the role of social comparison in the relationship between depressive symptoms and four key life domains including: physical health, financial situation, relationships with adult children, and social support from friends. The respondents were 411 people aged 60 years or older from a survey of a representative community sample of the elderly population in Hong Kong. Using multiple regression models, the authors found that social comparison mediated the effect of support from friends on depressive symptoms and social comparison was the partial mediator in the linkage between financial strain and depressive symptoms. Moreover, social comparison also moderated the effect of physical health and support from friends on depressive symptoms. Lastly, we found that self-efficacy and self-esteem were moderators in the relationship between depressive symptoms and all four key life domains including physical health, financial situation, relationship with adult children, and social support from friends, whereas sense of control over physical health and sense of control over support from friends moderated the effect of social comparison on physical health and support from friends, respectively, on depressive symptoms.
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Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Publication date: 2001-08-01

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