“Loneliness in Mid-and-Later Life”.

January 23, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Science, Health Science, Immunology
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Loneliness in Mid and Later life

Dan Perlman

• Only the Lonely, Roy Orbison • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjq4wYuw gxs

Today’s Talk • Introduction: Definition, Importance • Peplau & Perlman Model • Loneliness in Mid and Later Life – Demographic Correlates – Life Events & Transitions – Social Correlates – Health and Mortality

Definition Loneliness is the unpleasant experience that occurs when a person’s network of social relations is deficient in some important way, either quantitatively or qualitatively.

Social Problems Associated With Loneliness • Alcoholism

• Poor grades

• Suicide

• Aggression

• Poor Immune functioning, overuse of health care facilities

• Delinquency

• Sleep disorders • Poor psychological adjustment

• Running away from home • Breakdown of society

Anne Peplau • Other collaborators – – – – – – – –

Linda Carroll James Check Ann Gerson Judith Goldberg Judy Lobdell Neil Malamuth Dan Russell Kathryn Saulnier

Peplau and Perlman Discrepancy Model •

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The Role of Genetics • Dutch twins (N=8387) and siblings (N=2295) study • The heritability estimate for loneliness was 40% and did not differ between males and females. •

Boomsma, D. I., Cacioppo, J. T., Slagboom, P. E., & Posthuma, D. (2006). Genetic Linkage and Association Analysis for Loneliness in Dutch Twin and Sibling Pairs Points to a Region on Chromosome 12q23-24. Behavior Genetics, 36, 137-146. doi: 10.1007/s10519-005-9005-z

Social Control (Schulz, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1976)

• Study of college students visiting seniors over a 2-month period • Included a no-visit condition, a condition where the student decided on the visits, and a condition where the senior decided on the visits • Loneliness declined in the condition where the senior controlled visits but not in the other two conditions

AARP Study http://www.aarp.org/personal-growth/transitions/info-092010/loneliness_2010.html

• Many of today’s slides are based on a 2010 ARRP Survey • The study sought a nationally representative sample of adults 45 + years old • 3012 individuals participated • Measure: UCLA Scale


AARP Survey: Loneliness as a Function of Age

Loneliness Across the Lifespan: Adolescent High Point

Gender Differences: Mixed Results AARP Study • • • •

Meta-Analysis Results Measure Specific Women higher in selflabeling Women higher on UCLA No Difference on Dutch Measure

Loneliness by Income


Loneliness and Midlife Transitions • Departure of children • Divorce

Retirement Retirement

Contact with Coworkers After Retiring

Loneliness and Bereavement • Loneliness: A key aspect of bereavement • What widows lose (Lopata) • Correlates of loneliness in widowhood: • Unexpected death • Rumination about negative consequences of death • Negative view of spouse


Loneliness by Marital Status

Loneliness by Length of Current Marriage

Loneliness by Duration of Divorce

Loneliness by Time Spent on Hobbies per Week

Community Involvement and Loneliness Volunteer Work

Participate Community Org’s

Loneliness and Contact with Friends per Month In Person (~ Phone)


Loneliness and Contact with Children per Month In Person


Loneliness and Perceived Social Support: How many people have been very supportive of you in the last year?

Loneliness by Length of Current Residence

Loneliness by Length of Current Residence


Loneliness and Self-Reported Health

Loneliness and Nursing Homes (Russell et al., Psychology and Aging, 1997)

• 4-year prospective study: Higher levels of loneliness were found to increase the likelihood of nursing home admission

Prospective Longitudinal Study Perissinotto et al., 2012. Archives of Internal Medicine

Community sample, nationally representative, followed 2002 -2008, N = 1604, Age = 60+


Not Lonely

Decline in ADL



Difficulties with Upper Extremity Tasks



Decline in Mobility



Trouble with Stairs






Loneliness and Mortality •

• • •

Perissinotto, C, Stijacic Cenzer, I, Covinsky, KE. Loneliness in older persons: A predictor of functional decline and death. Archives of Internal Medicine 2012; 172(14): 1078-1084. PMID: 22710744 Penninx, B.W.J.H. , van Tilburg, T.G., Kriegsman, D.M.W. , Deeg, D.J.H. , Boeke, A.J.P. & van Eijk, J.T.M. (1997). Effects of social support and personal coping resources on mortality in older age: The Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam. American Journal of Epidemiology 146 (6), 510-519. Beekman, A. T. F.; Deeg, D. J. H.; Stek, M. L.; van Tilburg, T. G. (2012). Increased risk of mortality associated with social isolation in older men: only when feeling lonely? Results from the Amsterdam Study of the Elderly (AMSTEL). Psychological Medicine, 42(4):843-853 Tilvis, R. S.; Routasalo, P.; Karppinen, H.; et al. (2012). e: Social isolation, social activity and loneliness as survival indicators in old age; a nationwide survey with a 7-year follow-up . European Geriatric Medicine, 3(1), 18-22 DOI: 10.1016/j.eurger.2011.08.004 Shiovitz-Ezra, S., & Ayalon, L. (2010). Situational versus chronic loneliness as risk factors for all-cause mortality. International Psychogeriatrics, 22(3), 455-462 DOI: 10.1017/S1041610209991426 Luo, Y., Hawkley, L. C., Waite, L. J., & Cacioppo, J. T. (2012). Loneliness, health, and mortality in old age: A national longitudinal study. Social Science & Medicine, 74(6), 907-914. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.11.028 Sugisawa H, Liang J, & Liu X. (1994). Social networks, social support, and mortality among older people in Japan. Journal of Gerontology, 49, S3–13.

Question • From a lifespan, developmental perspective, how can we prevent or help alleviate loneliness?

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