Subjective Age and Loneliness in Older Adults: The Moderating Role of Attachment Patterns

Yoav S. Bergman, Yifat Faran, Eden Caspi, Eyal Klonover

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Loneliness in older adults has been associated with a myriad of undesirable physical and psychological consequences, as well as with negative age and aging perceptions. However, little is known regarding the effect of individual differences in the ability to seek, maintain, and benefit from close relationships in this context. Accordingly, we examined the associations between subjective age (i.e., how old/young one feels vis-à-vis his/her chronological age; SA), attachment patterns, and loneliness. Data were collected from 840 older adults in Israel (Mage = 74.75, SD = 5.50, range = 67–94), who provided information pertaining to SA, attachment anxiety/avoidance, and loneliness. Loneliness was associated with an older SA, as well as with high levels of attachment anxiety/avoidance. Moreover, the association between SA and loneliness was nullified for individuals with low levels of attachment anxiety/avoidance. The discussion highlights the importance of both age perceptions and attachment patterns for understanding the underlying mechanisms of late-life loneliness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)970-977
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Applied Gerontology
Volume43
Issue number7
Early online date22 Dec 2023
StatePublished - Jul 2024
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.

Keywords

  • attachment patterns
  • loneliness
  • social connections
  • subjective age

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