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Keywords:

  • older adults;
  • displaced people;
  • depression;
  • natural disaster;
  • Taiwan

Abstract

This longitudinal study examines changes in depressive symptoms among displaced older Taiwanese adults (N = 54, M = 68 years), and the impact of various social supports for them at between 6 and 12 months after an earthquake. The average depression score between 6 and 12 months following the earthquake was unchanged and kept high score. Child and extended family support levels related to depressive symptoms after 6 months. In contrast, after 12 months, significant factors associated with a lessening of the depressive symptoms were social support from the extended family and neighbors, and social participation. Intervention to promote increased social networks and social participation, within their new environment in a temporary community, is highly recommended for older adults.