Transportation, Social Support by Family Visitation, and Depression of Older Adult Nursing Home Residents: A Mixed-Methods Study

Vivian Miller, University of Texas at Arlington


This study uses a sequential mixed-methodological design to gather information from residents of nursing homes (NHs) and their family members to measure the impact transportation system outcomes have on institutionalized older adults’ mental health. The research questions explore: 1) How transportation access and mobility of family members directly affect mental health outcomes (e.g., depression) of residents in nursing homes, 2) How transportation access and mobility of family members indirectly affect depression outcomes of residents in nursing homes through the mediation role of family social support by visitation, and 3) What the direct effects of family social support by visitation have on depression outcomes of residents in nursing homes, both challenges and opportunities to transportation access and mobility, as well as positive and negative experiences of transportation access and mobility. Data from the proposed study will examine the implications of transportation access and mobility on the health of a particularly isolated, vulnerable population (e.g., NH residents) in order to optimize transportation systems across individual-, family-, and community- members. Study outcomes will offer implications aimed at improving the mobility and mental well-being for individuals and families across the lifespan, including older adults in NH settings.


At this point, the research expects to help to identify the impact visitation of family members, which is facilitated by transportation access and opportunities, has on the mental well-being of residents in nursing homes. Ideally, this research will improve transportation access and opportunities for family members, thus having an effect on resident well-being. 

Project Details

Project Type:
Project Status:
In Progress
End Date:
May 12,2019
UTC Grant Cycle:
NITC 16 Dissertation Fellowships 2018
UTC Funding: