Sex and Ethnic Differences in Psychological Distress among Older Taiwanese Adults: Relationships over Time

Chi Chiao, National Cheng Kung University
Amanda Botticello, Rutgers University

Relatively little research has been directed at understanding the pathways through which gender and ethnic disparities in mental health develop among older adults in industrialized Asian nations. This study examines the ebb and flow of psychological distress among older Taiwanese adults, describing and explaining variation in depressive symptoms among subgroups using stress process theory. Data are from a nationally representative sample of Taiwanese adults aged 50 and over collected prospectively from 1989 to 1999.This analysis examines whether differences in social status (e.g. socioeconomic status and living arrangement), exposure to stressors (e.g. declines in physical health, bereavement), and access to social resources (e.g. social support, community participation) can explain variations in trajectories of distress by sex and ethnicity. Implications of these findings will particularly benefit future policy and programmatic strategies aimed at promoting mental health and improving quality of life among a rapidly growing segment of the Taiwanese population.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Poster Session 6