Predictors and subjective causes of loneliness in an aged population
ABSTRACT The aim of the study was to examine the prevalence and self-reported causes of loneliness among Finnish older population. The data were collected with a postal questionnaire from a random sample of 6,786 elderly people (>or=75 years of age). The response rate was 71.8% from community-dwelling sample. Of the respondents, 39% suffered from loneliness, 5% often or always. Loneliness was more common among rural elderly people than those living in cities. It was associated with advancing age, living alone or in a residential home, widowhood, low level of education and poor income. In addition, poor health status, poor functional status, poor vision and loss of hearing increased the prevalence of loneliness. The most common subjective causes for loneliness were illnesses, death of a spouse and lack of friends. Loneliness seems to derive from societal life changes as well as from natural life events and hardships originating from aging.
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ABSTRACT: This study used five waves of the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey to examine the relationship between living arrangements, smoking, and drinking among older adults in China from 1998-2008. We found that living arrangements had strong implications for cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption among the elderly. First, the likelihood of smoking was lower among older men living with children, and older women living either with a spouse, or with both a spouse and children; and the likelihood of drinking was lower among both older men, and women living with both a spouse and children, compared with those living alone. Second, among dual consumers (i.e., being a drinker and a smoker), the amount of alcohol consumption was lower among male dual consumers living with children, while the number of cigarettes smoked was higher among female dual consumers living with others, compared with those living alone. Third, among non-smoking drinkers, the alcohol consumption was lower among non-smoking male drinkers in all types of co-residential arrangements (i.e., living with a spouse, living with children, living with both a spouse and children, or living with others), and non-smoking female drinkers living with others, compared with those living alone. Results highlighted the importance of living arrangements to cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption among Chinese elderly. Co-residential arrangements provided constraints on Chinese older adults' health-risk behaviors, and had differential effects for men and women.International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 03/2015; 12(3):2411-36. DOI:10.3390/ijerph120302411 · 1.99 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The main objective of this study was to determine the relationship between quality of life, social functioning, depressive symptoms, self-efficacy, physical function, and socioeconomic status (SES) in community-dwelling older adults. A cross-sectional design was used to examine the relationships. A sample of 193 community-dwelling older adults completed the measurements. Structural equation modeling with full information maximum likelihood in LISREL was used to evaluate the relationships between the latent variables (SES, social functioning, depressive symptoms, self-efficacy, physical function, and quality of life). The path analysis exhibited significant effects of SES on physical function, social functioning, depressive symptoms, and self-efficacy (γ = 0.42-0.73), and significant effects in regard to social functioning, depressive symptoms, and self-efficacy on quality of life (γ = 0.27-0.61). There was no direct effect of SES on the quality of life. The model fit indices demonstrated a reasonable fit (χ (2) = 98.3, df = 48, p < 0.001), matching the relative Chi-square criterion and the RMSEA criterion. The model explained 55.5 % of the variance of quality of life. The path analysis indicated an indirect effect of SES on the quality of life by social functioning, depressive symptoms, and self-efficacy in community-dwelling older adults. Physical function did not have a direct effect on the quality of life. To improve the quality of life in older adults, additional focus is required on the socioeconomic psychosocial differences in the community-dwelling older population.Quality of Life Research 12/2014; DOI:10.1007/s11136-014-0898-y · 2.86 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Social relationships endow health and fitness benefits, but considerable variation exists in the extent to which individuals form and maintain salutary social relationships. The mental and physical health effects of social bonds are more strongly related to perceived isolation (loneliness) than to objective social network characteristics. We sought to develop an animal model to facilitate the experimental analysis of the development of, and the behavioral and biological consequences of, loneliness. In Study 1, using a population-based sample of older adults, we examined how loneliness was influenced both by social network size and by the extent to which individuals believed that their daily social interactions reflected their own choice. Results revealed three distinct clusters of individuals: (i) individuals with large networks who believed they had high choice were lowest in loneliness, (ii) individuals with small social networks who believed they had low choice were highest in loneliness, and (iii) the remaining two groups were intermediate and equivalent in loneliness. In Study 2, a similar three-group structure was identified in two separate samples of adult male rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) living in large social groups: (i) those high in sociability who had complex social interaction with a broad range of social partners (putatively low in loneliness), (ii) those low in sociability who showed tentative interactions with certain classes of social partners (putatively high in loneliness), and (iii) those low in sociability who interacted overall at low levels with a broad range of social partners (putatively low or intermediate in loneliness). This taxonomy in monkeys was validated in subsequent experimental social probe studies. These results suggest that, in highly social nonhuman primate species, some animals may show a mismatch between social interest and social attainment that could serve as a useful animal model for experimental and mechanistic studies of loneliness.PLoS ONE 10/2014; 9(10):e110307. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0110307 · 3.53 Impact Factor