Death anxiety and loneliness among older adults: Role of parental self-efficacy

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Death anxiety and loneliness are major issues for older people. The present study aimed to broaden the understanding of factors that are linked with increased loneliness in old age by examining the association between death anxiety and loneliness, and the role of an unexplored varia-ble among older adults, namely, parental self-efficacy. A convenience sample of 362 Israeli parents over the age of 65 was recruited through means of social media. Participants completed self-re-ported questionnaires, which included background characteristics, death anxiety, parental self-effi-cacy, and loneliness measures. The findings showed that death anxiety was positively associated with loneliness among older adults. The findings also confirmed that parental self-efficacy moder-ated this association in this population. We concluded that the combination of death anxiety and low parental self-efficacy identified a group of older adults that are at higher risk of developing increased loneliness levels. Mental health professionals should consider intergenerational relationships as a fundamental component of older adults’ daily lives, focusing on parental self-efficacy in old age, as this appears to be a resilience resource.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9857
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Loneliness
  • Older adults
  • Parental self-efficacy
  • death anxiety


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