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Social supports in relation to physical health and symptoms of depression in the elderly
Am J Psychiatry 1988;145:1254-1258.
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Abstract

The authors examined the relationship of social supports to physical and psychological well-being in 118 men and women 65 years old or older who were living independently in the community. Subjects with more symptoms of depression reported having fewer emotionally satisfying consistent supports from relatives, but those who had physical illnesses reported more supports from relatives. The authors conclude that although having fewer key supports may contribute to dysphoria, having a physical illness may mobilize meaningful support. They suggest that social supports and health outcomes be carefully defined so that possible differential relationships between them can be understood more specifically.

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