Longitudinal associations between social connections and subjective wellbeing in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing

Shankar, Aparna, Rafnsson, Snorri Bjorn and Steptoe, Andrew (2014) Longitudinal associations between social connections and subjective wellbeing in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Psychology & Health, 30 (6). pp. 686-698. ISSN 0887-0446

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/08870446.2014.979823

Abstract / Description

The role of social relationships in determining well-being may be particularly salient in ageing populations. There is only limited longitudinal research examining the relationship between different dimensions of social relationships and change in well-being over time. The present analysis explores the association between isolation, loneliness and two measures of subjective well-being over six years using data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing.

Measures of social relationships were obtained at baseline and associations with well-being over the following six years were analysed using mixed models.
Main outcome measures: Hedonic and evaluative well-being assessed every two years over the six-year period.

Levels of well-being showed a U-shaped relationship with time. At baseline, higher isolation and loneliness were associated with lower levels of hedonic and evaluative well-being. Individuals with high levels of isolation and loneliness initially showed a smaller decrease in evaluative well-being. The subsequent rise in well-being was, however, also diminished in this group. In contrast, loneliness was not associated with rate of change in hedonic well-being, while high levels of isolation were associated with a sustained decrease in hedonic well-being.

Social isolation and loneliness show different associations with changes in evaluative and hedonic well-being over time.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: social isolation, loneliness, subjective well-being, older adults, ELSA
Subjects: 100 Philosophy & psychology > 150 Psychology
300 Social sciences > 360 Social problems & services; associations
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
Department: School of Social Professions (to June 2021)
School of Social Sciences and Professions
Depositing User: Snorri Rafnsson
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2018 12:15
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2021 16:04
URI: https://repository.londonmet.ac.uk/id/eprint/1365


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