In the present study, we examined self-rated health as a mediator between physical health conditions (chronic diseases and functional disability) and depressive symptoms in older Chinese and Korean Americans. Using harmonized data (N = 5,063) from the Population Study of Chinese Elderly (PINE) and the Study of Older Korean Americans (SOKA), we tested direct and indirect effect models. In both groups, chronic diseases and functional disability were closely associated with negative ratings of health and symptoms of depression. Analyses with the PROCESS macro showed that the effect of chronic diseases and functional disability on depressive symptoms was mediated by self-rated health in both groups; the indirect effect was greater in the Korean American sample than in the Chinese American sample. These findings contribute to the understanding of the psychological mechanisms that underlie the mind-body connection and highlight the potential importance of subjective health assessment as a useful tool for health promotion.
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