Profiles of loneliness in the caregiving unit

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Purpose of the Study: The study evaluated profiles (a typology) of loneliness within the caregiving unit, which was composed of an older care recipient with functional impairment, a family member, and a home care worker. Design and Methods: Overall, 223 complete caregiving units completed the 3-item Revised-University of California San Francisco Loneliness scale. Latent profile analysis was used to identify profiles of loneliness within the caregiving unit. Subsequently, latent profile membership was used as a between-subject variable to examine correlates of the latent profiles. Results: A 2-profile solution was deemed most plausible. This classification consisted of a large (174 caregiving units; 78%) more favorable profile in terms of loneliness and a smaller (49 caregiving units; 22%) lonelier profile. Profile classification was associated with a variety of quality of life, well-being, social relations, and sociodemographic indicators of the 3 members of the caregiving unit. Implications: The study provides a needed recognition of the potential interdependence among members of the caregiving unit and calls for research and practice that go beyond the individual level. The assessment of loneliness at the caregiving unit can provide valuable information about at-risk units as well as about the potential effectiveness of interventions that target the entire caregiving unit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-214
Number of pages14
JournalThe Gerontologist
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author 2014.


  • Aloneness
  • Caregiving
  • Family care
  • Home care
  • Loneliness
  • Social network
  • Spread


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