Short- and Medium-Term Effects of Ageism on Loneliness Experienced During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Sharon Shiovitz-Ezra, Bracha Erlich, Liat Ayalon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Loneliness, common in old age, may be partially attributed to ageism. The present study explored the short- and medium-term effect of ageism on loneliness experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic using prospective data derived from the Israeli sample of the Survey of Health, Aging and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) (N = 553). Ageism was measured before the COVID-19 outbreak and loneliness in the summer of 2020 and 2021 using a direct single question. We also tested for age differences in this association. In both the 2020 and 2021 models, ageism was related to increased loneliness. This association remained significant after adjusting for a host of demographic, health, and social variables. In the 2020 model, we also found that the positive association between ageism and loneliness was significant only in people aged 70+. We discussed the results with reference to the COVID-19 pandemic, which drew attention to two global social phenomena: loneliness and ageism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1255-1266
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Applied Gerontology
Volume42
Issue number6
Early online date21 Feb 2023
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.

Keywords

  • ageism
  • loneliness
  • quantitative methods

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