ERIC Number: ED217340
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Alienation and Depression in the Small Town Widow.
Jolley, Janina M.
Research has found that elderly widows are alienated, disengaged, and depressed. However, there is little consensus across theories as to the inter-relationship of these variables. The social interactionist theory that disengagement leads to chronic depression and alienation was tested for a group of widows (N=32) and married women (N=28) over the age of 50 who lived in a small town. Subjects completed Zung's Self-Rating Depression Scale, a measure of alienation, and a behavioral checklist of frequency and nature of social contacts. Results indicated that marital status had a significant effect on alienation and depression. Widows were significantly more alienated and depressed than married women. Marital status did not have a significant effect on any of the social interaction categories. Widowhood correlated with alienation and depression, but not with disengagement. Disengagement was not an antecedent to alienation and depresison. Further research into the subjective and objective elements of disengagement is needed to arrive at a more cogent model of widowhood. (Author/NRB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Joint Annual Meeting of the Scientific Gerontological Society (34th) and the Scientific & Educational Canadian Association on Gerontology (10th), (Toronto, Ontario, Canada, November 8-12, 1981).