The relationship between wealth and loneliness among older people across Europe: Is social participation protective?

Niedzwiedz, C. L. , Richardson, E. A., Tunstall, H., Shortt, N. K., Mitchell, R. J. and Pearce, J. R. (2016) The relationship between wealth and loneliness among older people across Europe: Is social participation protective? Preventive Medicine, 91, pp. 24-31. (doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2016.07.016) (PMID:27471027)

[img]
Preview
Text
122237.pdf - Accepted Version

592kB

Abstract

Objective: 1. Examine the relationship between household wealth, social participation and loneliness among older people across Europe. 2. Investigate whether relationships vary by type of social participation (charity/volunteer work, sports/social clubs, educational/training course, and political/community organisations) and gender. 3. Examine whether social participation moderates the association between wealth and loneliness. Methods: Data (N = 29,795) were taken from the fifth wave of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), which was collected during 2013 from 14 European countries. Loneliness was measured using the short version of the Revised-University of California, Los Angeles (R-UCLA) Loneliness Scale. We used multilevel logistic models stratified by gender to examine the relationships between variables, with individuals nested within countries. Results: The risk of loneliness was highest in the least wealthy groups and lowest in the wealthiest groups. Frequent social participation was associated with a lower risk of loneliness and moderated the association between household wealth and loneliness, particularly among men. Compared to the wealthiest men who often took part in formal social activities, the least wealthy men who did not participate had greater risk of loneliness (OR = 1.91, 95% CI: 1.44 to 2.51). This increased risk was not observed among the least wealthy men who reported frequent participation in formal social activities (OR = 1.12, 95% CI: 0.76 to 1.67). Conclusion: Participation in external social activities may help to reduce loneliness among older adults and potentially acts as a buffer against the adverse effects of socioeconomic disadvantage.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mitchell, Professor Richard and Niedzwiedz, Dr Claire
Authors: Niedzwiedz, C. L., Richardson, E. A., Tunstall, H., Shortt, N. K., Mitchell, R. J., and Pearce, J. R.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Public Health
Journal Name:Preventive Medicine
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0091-7435
Published Online:26 July 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc.
First Published:First published in Preventive Medicine 91: 24-31
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record

Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
590681PhyBEHI: Physical built environments and health inequalitiesRichard MitchellEuropean Commission (EC)263501PhyBEHIFPIHW - PUBLIC HEALTH