In a study of adults aged 50 years and older, the probability of experiencing depressive symptoms steadily increased as the frequency of in-person--but not phone or written/email contact--decreased.
Individuals without in-person social contact with children, other family, and friends at least every few months had a significantly higher probability of clinically significant depressive symptoms two years later (11.5%) compared with those having in-person contact once or twice a month (8.1%) or once or twice a week (7.3%).
"This study shows that meeting up and connecting with people face-to-face is good medicine for depression prevention," said Dr. Alan Teo, lead author of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society study. "As opportunities for connecting grow with social media, I hope we can study more how different ways of connecting influence mental health."
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society