Social Support and Major Depressive Syndrome and Other Depressive Syndrome among US Military Retirees and their Spouses, Ages 38-64.Objective: Research investigating the health effects of social support has found that individuals with poor social support may experience an increased risk of depression. This study investigates the association between beneficiary reports of depressive syndromes and social support among military retirees and spouses, between the ages of 38 and 64.
Results: Beneficiaries who reported a lack of emotion support, a need for more emotional support, and a lack of close friends had increased odds of Major Depressive Syndrome. Beneficiaries who reported a need for more emotional support had increased odds of Other Depressive Syndrome. There was no association between measures of depressive syndromes and a lack of financial support. An effective strategy to improve the mental health of depressed beneficiaries could include a review of social support available to them. Better understanding of the relationships between social support and the onset or severity of mental illness may be important to improve the lives of retired beneficiaries.