ERIC Number: EJ896773
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Sep
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
The Role of Social Relationships in Predicting Loneliness: The National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project
Shiovitz-Ezra, Sharon; Leitsch, Sara A.
Social Work Research, v34 n3 p157-167 Sep 2010
The authors explore associations between objective and subjective social network characteristics and loneliness in later life, using data from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project, a nationally representative sample of individuals ages 57 to 85 in the United States. Hierarchical linear regression was used to examine the associations between measures of objective and subjective social network characteristics and their importance in predicting loneliness across marital status. For the entire sample, as well as the married-cohabitating subsample, objective indicators such as frequency of contact with social network members were negatively associated with feelings of loneliness, net of background characteristics. However, the authors' analysis highlights the contribution of subjective perceptions of social ties, the quality of marriage in later life for those engaged in marital or cohabitating relationships, and the quality of familial ties for the nonmarried older adults. In a married-cohabitating subsample, the subjective perceptions of one's relationship with the partner explained, by itself, 7% of the variance in loneliness, whereas the quality of family ties explained an additional 6% of the variance in loneliness in the nonmarried sample. Based on the present findings, practical implications for social workers are discussed.
Descriptors: Marital Status, Social Life, Aging (Individuals), Social Networks, Psychological Patterns, Social Work, Prediction, Health, Role, Correlation, Regression (Statistics), Older Adults, Interpersonal Relationship
National Association of Social Workers (NASW). 750 First Street NE Suite 700, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-227-3590; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.naswpress.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A