The Significance of Social Isolation and Loneliness among U.S. Older Adults During the Covid-19 Pandemic Restricted; Files Only

Ling, Audrey (Summer 2023)

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This study examined the relationship between social isolation and loneliness among U.S. older adults during the Covid-19 pandemic with a unique opportunity to conduct a study when social isolation was high among the general population due to covid risk reduction measures. Data from the round 10 iteration and the covid module of the National Health and Aging Trends Survey (NHATS), representative of the age 70+ Medicare beneficiary population of older adults living in the United States, examined the dichotomized loneliness outcome, which identified those who experienced an increase in loneliness during the pandemic versus those who did not, using descriptive analytics and logistic regression. Findings from this analysis supported existing literature suggesting a limited correlation between the two concepts, further demonstrating that they are indeed unique as they share only a minimal correlation even when the larger population is more socially isolated. When comparing severe social isolation to social integration the association crossed the null (OR=1.6, 95% CI: 0.4, 6.9).

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction 1

Chapter 2. Literature Review 2

 2.1 Loneliness 3

 2.2 Social isolation 6

 2.3 Comparing and contrasting social isolation and loneliness 10

 2.4 Covid-19 10

 2.5 Significance 11

Chapter 3. Methods 12

 3.1 Data 12

 3.2 Analyses 15

Chapter 4. Results 20

Chapter 5. Discussion 34

References 39

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