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ERIC Number: EJ776048
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Oct
Pages: 21
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 59
ISSN: ISSN-0360-1277
The Indirect Influence of Educational Attainment on Loneliness among Unmarried Older Adults
Bishop, Alex J.; Martin, Peter
Educational Gerontology, v33 n10 p897-917 Oct 2007
This investigation examined the indirect influence of past educational attainment on current feelings of loneliness across a sample of unmarried older adults. Participants in this study included 227 community-dwelling individuals, age 65 to 94, who were never-married, divorced, or widowed. The developmental adaptation model (Martin & Martin, 2002) was used as a conceptual framework in the evaluation of an integrated path model of loneliness. In particular, this model was used to assess how proximal influences including neuroticism, stress, and social support mediate the association between past educational attainment and loneliness. Results suggest that greater educational attainment in the past appears was directly associated with less neuroticism and stress. Furthermore, neuroticism directly influenced greater loneliness, whereas social support was directly associated with feeling less lonely. Stress only had a weak direct influence on loneliness. Finally, the model supports an indirect link between past educational attainment and loneliness through neuroticism and stress. This influence appeared to be most salient among widowed older adults. Recent experiences associated with greater feelings of anxiety and lower provisions of support increased loneliness among persons who remain unmarried in later life. However, education remains an important resource that may reduce this vulnerability in older unmarried populations. This has implications for providing educational opportunities and learning experiences for older persons who are ever-single or formerly married. (Contains 3 tables and 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A