Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Jameson K. Hirsch

Committee Members

Christopher S. Dula, Ginette C. Blackhart


Social support and family criticism variables were examined as potential moderators of the association between illness burden and depression and between functional impairment and depression in a secondary data analysis. Participants (n=735) were older adults aged 65 and older from internal medicine and family medicine primary care offices. It was hypothesized that both illness burden and functional impairment would be associated with increased depressive symptoms and a diagnosis of depression. In addition, it was hypothesized that higher levels of social support and lower levels of family criticism would moderate this relationship. Both linear and logistic multivariate hierarchical regression analyses were used to examine these variables as potential moderators. Hypotheses concerning perceived social support and social interaction as moderators were supported. Hypotheses involving family criticism and instrumental social support were not supported. Enhancement of perceived social support and encouragement of social interactions may be important intervention targets for treatment of depressive symptoms in older adults with illness or impairment who are seen in primary care settings.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.

Included in

Psychology Commons