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

Shankar, A; Rafnsson, SB; Steptoe, A; (2015) Longitudinal associations between social connections and subjective wellbeing in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Psychology & Health , 30 (6) pp. 686-698. 10.1080/08870446.2014.979823. Green open access

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Abstract

Objective: 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. Design: 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. Results: 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. Conclusion: Social isolation and loneliness show different associations with changes in evaluative and hedonic well-being over time.

Type: Article
Title: Longitudinal associations between social connections and subjective wellbeing in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing.
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/08870446.2014.979823
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08870446.2014.979823
Language: English
Additional information: © 2014 The Author(s). Published by Taylor & Francis. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The moral rights of the named author(s) have been asserted.
Keywords: ELSA, loneliness, older adults, social isolation, subjective well-being
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Behavioural Science and Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1453415
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