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THE EFFECTS OF GENDER AND MARITAL STATUS ON LONELINESS OF THE AGED

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Abstract:

This study explored the qualitative aspects of loneliness in the elderly. Eighty-nine men were compared to 239 women in the age range of 61–94. A 30-item yes/no loneliness questionnaire was utilized to compare the loneliness experience in the two samples. The questionnaire comprises 5 qualitative dimensions of loneliness, namely Emotional distress, Social inadequacy and alienation, Growth and discovery, Interpersonal isolation, and Self – alienation. Results confirmed the hypothesis that women experience loneliness significantly differently from men. Women scored significantly higher on the Growth and discovery subscale. The two groups were also compared to see whether marital status affected the experience of loneliness. Results showed a significant main effect only for men. Married men had lower subscale scores on the Interpersonal isolation subscale than did the unmarried.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2007.35.2.243

Publication date: 2007-01-01

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