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Correlates and predictors of loneliness in old age: Evidence from Sweden and England
Dalarna University, School of Health and Social Studies, Social Work. Karolinska Institutet.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7685-3216
2013 (English)Conference paper, Presentation (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

It is important to identify factors associated with loneliness in older people if effective policies and strategies to prevent and reduce loneliness are to be developed. In this presentation two studies that identify factors associated with loneliness in old age are reported. Strengths and weaknesses of the studies, which differ in design and focus, shed light on issues of importance for future studies on loneliness.

The first study was based on data from two waves of SWEOLD, a Swedish longitudinal national survey study (N=613). It aimed to examine the extent to which older people (70+) report feelings of loneliness with a focus on changes in loneliness over time, and on factors predicting loneliness in women and men, respectively. This study showed that older people moved in and out of loneliness over time, but there was a general increase in loneliness as they aged. It also identified gender differences in both incidence and risk factors.

The second study was based on data from the Barnsley Social Exclusion in Old Age Study, an English cross-sectional community survey (N=1255), and aimed to identify risk factors for social and emotional loneliness in older people (65+). This study identified different, as well as shared, risk factors for social and emotional loneliness, thereby providing further empirical support for the conceptual separation of emotional and social loneliness.

Taken together, these studies demonstrate the importance of: 1) longitudinal research in order to determine risk factors for loneliness; 2) considering women and men separately; and 3) looking at social and emotional loneliness separately. These approaches in combination will aid the development of effective interventions to reduce loneliness in the older population and to ensure those interventions are targeted at the appropriate groups.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013.
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Hälsa och välfärd, Social exkludering av äldre på före detta industriorter
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-13017OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-13017DiVA: diva2:651533
Conference
Loneliness and social isolation among older people. Research perspectives on experienced loneliness and social isolation, Norrköping, Sweden, 23-24 September 2013
Available from: 2013-09-26 Created: 2013-09-26 Last updated: 2014-11-17Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
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
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf