COVID-19-Related Loneliness and Psychiatric Symptoms Among Older Adults: The Buffering Role of Subjective Age

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119 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: The study examined whether subjective age moderated the relationship between loneliness due to the COVID-19 pandemic and psychiatric symptoms. Methods: A convenience sample of older adult Israelis (N = 277, mean age = 69.58 ± 6.72) completed web-based questionnaires comprising loneliness, anxiety, depressive, and peritraumatic distress symptoms. They also reported how old they felt. Results: The positive relationship between loneliness due to the COVID-19 pandemic and psychiatric symptoms was weak among those who felt younger than their age while this very same relationship was robust among those feeling older. Conclusions: Young subjective age may weaken the loneliness-symptom association among older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic. Older adults holding an older age identity are more susceptible to the adverse effects of loneliness. Although preliminary, the findings may inform screening and interventions. Subjective age may help identify those at high risk in suffering from loneliness, and suggest interventions aimed at ameliorating both loneliness and older subjective ages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1200-1204
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Volume28
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Loneliness
  • Psychiatric symptoms
  • Subjective age

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