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Effects of Own and Spousal Disability on Loneliness Among Older Adults

Effects of Own and Spousal Disability on Loneliness Among Older Adults Objectives: This study examines the effects of own and spousal disability on social and emotional loneliness among married adults aged 65 and older. Method: Data from 710 men and 379 women of a Dutch community sample were analyzed with linear regression analyses. Results: For men, only their wives' disability was related to higher levels of social loneliness, whereas for women mainly their own disability was related to higher levels of social loneliness. Own disability and spousal disability were related to higher levels of emotional loneliness among both men and women. Effects of disability remained unaffected after controlling for characteristics of the social network and the marital relationship. Discussion: Findings underscore the importance of considering effects of both spouses' health on measures of individual well-being. Also, the traditional division of social roles makes older married men relatively vulnerable to social loneliness when their wives suffer from disability. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Aging and Health SAGE

Effects of Own and Spousal Disability on Loneliness Among Older Adults

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References (42)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
Copyright © by SAGE Publications
ISSN
0898-2643
eISSN
1552-6887
DOI
10.1177/0898264308315431
pmid
18332186
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Objectives: This study examines the effects of own and spousal disability on social and emotional loneliness among married adults aged 65 and older. Method: Data from 710 men and 379 women of a Dutch community sample were analyzed with linear regression analyses. Results: For men, only their wives' disability was related to higher levels of social loneliness, whereas for women mainly their own disability was related to higher levels of social loneliness. Own disability and spousal disability were related to higher levels of emotional loneliness among both men and women. Effects of disability remained unaffected after controlling for characteristics of the social network and the marital relationship. Discussion: Findings underscore the importance of considering effects of both spouses' health on measures of individual well-being. Also, the traditional division of social roles makes older married men relatively vulnerable to social loneliness when their wives suffer from disability.

Journal

Journal of Aging and HealthSAGE

Published: Apr 1, 2008

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