Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work

First Advisor

Sharon K. Patten

Second Advisor

Christine Black-Hughes

Third Advisor

Mary Wagoner


Research regarding social supports and depression has been extensive with the older adult population except for areas of mid-stzed communities ranging between 25,000 to 75,000. This was an exploratory, cross-sectional study examining the social supports and depressive symptoms of older adults residing in an age segregated housing complex in a Midwest city with a population under 35,000. The participants (N:8), were residents of an age segregated public housing complex. Through the completion of a scheduled stzurdardized interview, the participants answered forty-two questions from the Duke Social Support Index and the Geriatric Depression Scale. The questions were based on current mood level and their social network interactions within the past week of the interview. General systems theory and social support theory were used to identify the relationships of family and friends with the older adult's level of depression. Past research indicates social support decreases the level of depression in the older adult with the age of the participants not warranting any substantial difference in results. Program implications of these findings include: an effective understanding of depression and its relationship to social supports, the importance of lobbying for the needs of the older adults and being an advocate at a community level.


SC 11.MSW.2001.Doyen.EM

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