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A social exclusion perspective on loneliness in older adults in the Nordic countries
Dalarna University, School of Health and Welfare, Social Work. Aging Research Center, Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm University.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7685-3216
Dalarna University, School of Health and Welfare, Social Work.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8795-7555
2022 (English)In: European Journal of Ageing, ISSN 1613-9372, E-ISSN 1613-9380, Vol. 19, no 2, p. 175-188Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Several factors associated with loneliness are also considered indicators of social exclusion. While loneliness has been proposed as an outcome of social exclusion, there is limited empirical evidence of a link. This study examines the associations between social exclusion indicators and loneliness in older adults (60+ years) in four Nordic countries. Data from four waves of the European Social Survey were pooled, providing a total of 7755 respondents (Denmark n = 1647; Finland n = 2501, Norway n = 1540; Sweden n = 2067). Measures of loneliness, demographic characteristics, health, and eight indicators of social exclusion were selected from the survey for analysis. Country-specific and total sample hierarchical logistic regression models of loneliness were developed. Significant model improvement occurred for all models after social exclusion indicators were added to models containing only demographic and health variables. Country models explained between 15.1 (Finland) and 21.5% (Sweden) of the variance in loneliness. Lower frequency of social contacts and living alone compared to in a two-person household was associated with a higher probability of loneliness in all countries, while other indicators were associated with loneliness in specific countries: lower neighbourhood safety (Sweden and Denmark); income concern (Sweden and Finland); and no emotional support (Denmark, Finland, and Sweden). A robust relationship was apparent between indicators of social exclusion and loneliness with the direction of associations being highly consistent across countries, even if their strength and statistical significance varied. Social exclusion has considerable potential for understanding and addressing risk factors for loneliness.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2022. Vol. 19, no 2, p. 175-188
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Health and Welfare, Att leva i samhällets utkant: Social exkludering bland äldre kvinnor och män i Sverige; Health and Welfare, Ensamhet och hälsa bland äldre personer i Norden
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-41223DOI: 10.1007/s10433-022-00692-4ISI: 000774625200001PubMedID: 35663913Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85127324200OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-41223DiVA, id: diva2:1650830
Available from: 2022-04-08 Created: 2022-04-08 Last updated: 2023-03-17

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Dahlberg, LenaMcKee, Kevin

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • chicago-author-date
  • chicago-note-bibliography
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
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