Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

Sharyn DeZelar


Social Work


This systematic review examines how acculturation affects depressive symptoms of older U.S. immigrants. Upon through review of the present literature, five articles were identified as meeting inclusion criteria and analyzed based on the ecological theory. Common themes identified throughout the reviewed studies include enhancing family support, community support, and cultural contexts. Results of this review conclude the micro and meso system such as family and social network supports help older adult immigrants interact with the mainstream American culture, which leads to a reduction of depressive symptoms of older adult immigrants. Also, the review identified that it is helpful for service providers to understand macro system such as language, socioeconomic status and geological location to reduce older adult immigrants’ depressive symptoms. Implications to social work practice are discussed as direct practice and indirect practice. In direct practice, this study discussed that social workers should be culturally competent and be aware of issues in relation to service utilization of the older immigrants. In the indirect practice of the policy and research, the study discussed an interpreter service supported by governmental level policy in the context of reimbursement costs for other types of care to help older immigrants receive proper primary and preventive care. This research also points to the need for the future research to promote interpreter support of the government for the older U.S. immigrants in the medical setting whose English proficiency is limited.

Included in

Social Work Commons