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ERIC Number: ED246346
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Loneliness among Elderly Widowers.
Vinick, Barbara H.
The fact that few researchers have studied loneliness in widowhood may be related to the concept itself which spans intellectual perspectives, incorporating elements of affect, cognition, and social structure. To examine loneliness among elderly widowers, 24 adult males (participants in a more comprehensive study of widowed men, aged 63 to 93 years) were interviewed and completed the Philadelphia Geriatric Center Morale Scale, and Townsend's Index of Incapactiy. Twelve of the men said they were seldom lonely. An analysis of factors relating to loneliness showed that those who were not lonely were more positive about their life situations, more autonomous, and more independent than those who were lonely. Car ownership, amount of driving, going for walks, and having a hobby were inversely related to loneliness. Those who could manage daily activities without difficulty or aid from another person were less likely to profess loneliness. Loneliness was statistically unrelated to frequency of contact with children, to self-reported feelings of closeness to children, or to being a father at all. Performing services for others and participating in volunteer activities decreased loneliness. Only two of the men reported having male confidants. The findings suggest that elderly widowers can overcome loneliness through activity and motivation. (BL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society (36th, San Francisco, CA, November 17-22, 1983). For an analysis of the widowers' lifestyle and widowers as caregivers see, ED 216 276 and ED 230 849.