Using the Social Determinants of Health as a Framework to Examine and Address Predictors of Depression in Later Life

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Depression in later life is an important public health concern. Comprehensive assessments incorporating all key areas of the social determinants of health (SDOH) framework can assist in developing effective interventions to ensure mental health for the increasing older adult population. This study uses the SDOH model for identifying, evaluating, and addressing risk factors that contribute to depression in older adults. Secondary data analysis of the Health and Retirement Study was used to conduct a hierarchical multiple regression analysis to examine predictors of depression in later life. The SDOH key areas were used as a framework for the regression model. The main findings showed predictors of depression were health and social support, emphasizing the importance of aging in place. Implications for practice include the provision of services within the home, neighborhood, and community to maintain older adults within the least restrictive environments where they can maximize healthy living and continue to maintain connections with their social support networks.


First Online: 02 February 2017