Impact of changes in housing tenure and affordability status on depressive symptoms: Evidence from a longitudinal study

Seung Hoon Kim, Hyunkyu Kim, Hye Jin Joo, Sung Hoon Jeong, Eun Cheol Park, Sung In Jang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Introduction: Housing is an important social determinant of health. We investigated effects of changes in housing tenure and affordability on depressive symptoms. Methods: Data of 9,956 individuals aged >20 years from the Korea Welfare Panel Study (2015–2020) were analyzed. Housing tenure was categorized as homeowners or tenants. Individuals with housing-related expenditures exceeding 30% of household income were defined as having housing unaffordability. Analyses using generalized estimating equations were conducted to evaluate the relationship between changes in housing tenure and affordability on depressive symptoms measured with the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale. Results: Individuals who became tenants (β = 0.326, p = 0.027) or were persistent tenants (β = 0.542, p<0.001) demonstrated significantly more severe depressive symptoms than persistent homeowners. Individuals with new (β = 0.562, p < 0.001) or consistent housing unaffordability (β = 1.032, p = 0.036) showed increased depressive symptoms compared with those with persistent housing affordability. Depressive symptoms were reduced in new homeowners and those who left housing unaffordability status (β = -0.807, p = 0.031). The interaction between housing tenure and affordability on depressive symptoms differed by age and household composition. Housing tenure at post-retirement age and single-person households were associated with a decrease in depressive symptoms, respectively. Limitations: All housing-related factors, especially different domains of housing insecurity including unstable neighborhoods or reasons for moving, have not been identified. Conclusions: Changes in housing tenure, affordability, and the two combined were significantly associated with depressive symptoms. Furthermore, the degree of interactive effect varied among age groups and household composition. Housing welfare policies that can stabilize housing tenure and affordability might help prevent depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-49
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of affective disorders
Volume295
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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