University of Illinois at Chicago
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Predictors of Depression among People with Disabilities in South Korea: A Test of Social Model

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posted on 2016-10-29, 00:00 authored by Jihye Jeon
In South Korea, the intersection of disabilities and depression has been rarely explored. The intent of this study is to evaluate the viability of a Disability Studies framework in re-interpreting the Stress-Coping model of depression among individuals with disabilities, and secondarily to provide some basic demographics on the prevalence and demographic distribution of depression among people with disabilities. Secondary analyses of data were conducted utilizing a nationally representative data sample, Korean Welfare Panel Study (KOWEPS). The sample includes a total of 5,735 households (14,696 people). A total of 653 adults with disabilities (those 18+ years old) who answered all the questions are included in this study. Descriptive statistics, t-test, and an analysis of variance were employed to evaluate basic demographics features of depression, and hierarchical multiple regression analyses were conducted to test the disability studies model. Descriptive results on socio-demographic characters revealed substantial social disadvantages experienced by people with disabilities. People with disabilities experienced higher levels of depression across most socio-demographic subgroups compared to people without disabilities. Results from hierarchical multiple regression analyses suggest that the social model was a better fit to the data for the disability population than a medical model which posited greater an impact for impairment on depression. Mental health experts, social workers in welfare centers, and peer counselors in independent living centers, policy makers, disability rights activists, and people with disabilities may benefit from the findings of this research by understanding the process of depression and thus tailor effective strategies for improving mental health.



Fujiura, Glenn T.


Disability and Human Development

Degree Grantor

University of Illinois at Chicago

Degree Level

  • Doctoral

Committee Member

Gill, Carol Charlton, James Balcazar, Fabricio Jo, Han-jin

Submitted date



  • en

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