Category: Social and Community Context

25 - Depressive Symptoms as a mediating factor between External Social Engagement and Health-related Quality of Life


This study aims to examine the level of social engagement as a predictor of Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQOL).


Senior residents, seventy five from five assisted living facilities in Denton (Texas), participated in this study. Mental and Physical component of HRQOL, external social contacts, level of cognitive function, and depression were measured. Linear and logistic regression was used in order to analyze the relationship between predictors and quality of life.


The average of MCS and PCs were 53.62 and 35.33 respectively, close to the national average. The majority of senior residents had less than two social contacts outside facilities. One out of five resident had depressive symptoms with significant lower MCS and PCS scores. The results of regression models showed that depression can be considered as a mediating factor between social engagement and both MCS and PCS.  


Losing social contacts outside of assisted living can increase the risk of depression and consequently decrease mental and physical components of health-related quality of life. It can be suggested that assisted living facilities include and design some activities in order to sustain social ties and connections outside the facility.


Reza Amini

Assistant Professor
University of Michigan-Flint
Flint, Michigan

I hold a PhD in sociology of aging, a Medical Doctorate (General Medicine), and a Master of Public Health. Within the last five years, I have been studying health status and the quality of life of senior adults as well as healthcare consumption in the United States. My educational background along with my research experience in public health enables me to cut across tightly-related disciplines and provide novel ideas about health determinants, including social determinants of health, and people’s quality of life at the local, national, and international levels.
Prior to starting my PhD, fifteen years of experience in clinical practice and studying health problems and health needs among Iran-Iraq war survivors provided me with a deep insight about public health. During my clinical practice and research, I identified missing factors required to apply the outcome of research projects to public health policies. Considering the changes in the outcome measures, i.e. health-related quality of life, researchers can broadly conceive and develop their projects. Healthcare policymakers can also revise the plans and services regarding these changes. Hence, I focused my studies on examining health-related quality of life. One of my fundamental questions was how we can sustain or even enhance quality of life, particularly in later life when quality of life is significantly affected by physiological dysfunction and accordingly lower levels of social engagement.

James Swan

University of North Texas

James Swan, PhD is a Professor in Applied Gerontology at the University of North Texas, his research funded by multiple agencies has been focused on public health and aging. He has published numerous articles, books, book chapters and presentations on these topics during his decades of research dealing with his fields of expertise, long-term care, public health, and physical functioning.

Stan Ingman

University of North Texas

Professor Stanley Rusk Ingman is a Professor in Applied Gerontology at the University of North Texas, his research funded by many agencies has been focused on sustainability, resilience, and aging in place. He has published numerous papers, books, book chapters and peer-reviewed presentation at the national and international conferences.