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Int J Aging Hum Dev. 2010;71(2):115-38.

Social support and its correlation with loneliness: a cross-cultural study of Nepalese older adults.

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  • 1Asian College for Advance Studies, Lalitpur, Nepal.


The aim of this study was to analyze the situation of social support exchange among elderly men and women and to study the cross-cultural validity of predictors of loneliness in two Nepalese castes/ethnicities of older adults. Data for this study were taken from a cross-sectional study of the elderly at least 60 years old living in one ward of Kathmandu City, conducted in 2005. Loneliness was measured using a three-item loneliness scale based on the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Loneliness Scale. Sources of social support were classified as spouse, children living with their elders, children living apart, and friends/neighbors. Study findings indicate that the main social support exchange for the elderly was with adult children living together, spouse, and friends/neighbors. Results also show gender difference in social support. Significant variables of loneliness were social support received from spouse, social support provided to spouse, and children living together with both elderly parents. This finding shows there is a high degree of cross-cultural invariance in the predictor sources of social support on loneliness among two Nepalese castes/ethnicities older adults.

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