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Psychological, health and social predictors of emotional and social loneliness in older people
Dalarna University, School of Education, Health and Social Studies, Social Work.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7685-3216
Dalarna University, School of Education, Health and Social Studies, Social Work.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8795-7555
2013 (Swedish)In: Proceedings of the 20th IAGG World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Seoul, Korea, 2013Conference paper, Poster (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Background: Loneliness in old age has been shown to have negative outcomes such as mortality, physical and mental health problems, and reduced activity levels. To reduce loneliness in older people, factors associated with loneliness and open to intervention must be identified.

Methods: Older people (aged 65+, N=1255) from the United Kingdom received a questionnaire-based interview (response rate: 66.0%). The questionnaire covered items on demographic, psychological, health and social characteristics. It also contained the de Jong-Gierveld Loneliness Scale (de Jong-Gierveld & Kamphuis, 1985), measuring Emotional and Social Loneliness.

Findings: Eight percent of the respondents were found to be severely or very severely lonely, while another 38% were moderately lonely. Being female, widowed, low well-being, low self-esteem, high activity restriction, and high concern about personal finances were significant predictors of Emotional Loneliness (F(17, 976)=25.59, R2=.31, p<.001).  Being female, widowed, low well-being, low self-esteem, high concern about personal finances, low contact with family, low contact with friends, low engagement, and low perceived community integration were significant predictors of Social Loneliness (F(17, 982)=19.63, R2=.25, p<.001).

Discussion:  This study provides empirical evidence for conceptual separation of emotional and social loneliness. Consequently, different targets for intervention are required in order to reduce emotional and social loneliness respectively, although psychological intervention has the potential to reduce both. 

Background: Loneliness in old age has been shown to have negative outcomes such as mortality, physical and mental health problems, and reduced activity levels. To reduce loneliness in older people, factors associated with loneliness and open to intervention must be identified.

Methods: Older people (aged 65+, N=1255) from the United Kingdom received a questionnaire-based interview (response rate: 66.0%). The questionnaire covered items on demographic, psychological, health and social characteristics. It also contained the de Jong-Gierveld Loneliness Scale (de Jong-Gierveld & Kamphuis, 1985), measuring Emotional and Social Loneliness.

Findings: Eight percent of the respondents were found to be severely or very severely lonely, while another 38% were moderately lonely. Being female, widowed, low well-being, low self-esteem, high activity restriction, and high concern about personal finances were significant predictors of Emotional Loneliness (F(17, 976)=25.59, R2=.31, p<.001).  Being female, widowed, low well-being, low self-esteem, high concern about personal finances, low contact with family, low contact with friends, low engagement, and low perceived community integration were significant predictors of Social Loneliness (F(17, 982)=19.63, R2=.25, p<.001).

Discussion:  This study provides empirical evidence for conceptual separation of emotional and social loneliness. Consequently, different targets for intervention are required in order to reduce emotional and social loneliness respectively, although psychological intervention has the potential to reduce both. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013.
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Health and Welfare, Social exkludering av äldre på före detta industriorter
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-12752OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-12752DiVA: diva2:639657
Conference
The 20th IAGG World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG 2013) June 23-27, 2013, Seoul, Korea
Note

Finansiär: Research Grant Programme, Big Lottery Fund, UK. Projektnr. RG/1/010166820.

Available from: 2013-08-08 Created: 2013-08-08 Last updated: 2015-12-10Bibliographically approved

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