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Arch Psychiatr Nurs. 1991 Jun;5(3):165-70.

Psychological correlates of loneliness in the older adult.

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College of Nursing, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock 72205.


Loneliness is the emotional response to the discrepancy between desired and available relationships. As people grow old, the likelihood of experiencing age-related losses increases. Such losses may impede the maintenance or acquisition of desired relationships, resulting in a higher incidence of loneliness. This pilot study examines how loneliness relates to age-related losses, hopelessness, self-transcendence, and spiritual well-being in a convenience sample of 107 adults aged 65 years or older. The collective utility of the independent variables in predicting loneliness was investigated by means of a regression decision tree with an automatic random subset crossvalidation procedure. This procedure explained 46% of the variance. Higher scores for age-related losses and hopelessness were associated with higher loneliness scores. Higher scores for self-transcendence and existential spiritual well-being were associated with lower loneliness scores.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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