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Chronic Illness and Loneliness in Older Adulthood: The Role of Self-Protective Control Strategies

Title:

Chronic Illness and Loneliness in Older Adulthood: The Role of Self-Protective Control Strategies

Barlow, Meaghan A., Liu, Sarah Y. and Wrosch, Carsten Chronic Illness and Loneliness in Older Adulthood: The Role of Self-Protective Control Strategies. Health Psychology . (In Press)

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Abstract

Objectives: This study examined whether levels of chronic illness predict enhanced feelings of loneliness in older adulthood. In addition, it investigated whether engagement in health-related self-protection (e.g., positive reappraisals), but not in health engagement control strategies (e.g., investment of time and effort), would buffer the adverse effect of chronic illness on older adults’ feelings of loneliness. Methods: Loneliness was examined repeatedly in two-year intervals over eight years in a longitudinal study of 121 community-dwelling older adults (ageT1 = 64 to 83 years). In addition, levels of chronic illness, health-related control strategies, and sociodemographic variables were assessed at baseline. Results: Growth-curve models showed that loneliness linearly increased over time, and that this effect was observed only among participants who reported high, but not low, baseline levels of chronic illness. In addition, health-related self-protection, but not health engagement control strategies, buffered the adverse effect of chronic illness on increases in loneliness. Conclusions: Loneliness increases in older adulthood as a function of chronic illness. Older adults who engage in self-protective strategies to cope with their health threats may be protected from experiencing this adverse effect.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science
Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Authors:Barlow, Meaghan A. and Liu, Sarah Y. and Wrosch, Carsten
Journal or Publication:Health Psychology
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):10.1037/hea0000182
ID Code:979981
Deposited By: CARSTEN WROSCH
Deposited On:19 May 2015 19:37
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:50
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