Equal Opportunities in Aging: Income Level Moderates the Relationship Between Infrequent Participation in Formal Social Activities and Loneliness Among Older Adults

Rachel Nissanholtz-Gannot, Hagar Peretz-Dayan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Infrequent participation in formal social activities among older adults increases the risk of loneliness. We examined whether a higher income level moderates the relationship between infrequent participation and loneliness. Utilizing data from wave #6 of the European Health, Aging, and Retirement Survey, we included participants aged 65+ (i.e., older adults), non-participants in the labor force (N = 24 819). Loneliness was measured by the R-UCLA loneliness questionnaire, formal social activity by participation frequency in volunteer/charity activities, educational course/training, sports/social/other clubs, and political/community organizations. Hierarchical multiple regression models examined relationships between variables, controlled by country. Infrequent participation in formal social activity associated with higher risk of loneliness. However, income moderated the association between participation and loneliness; infrequently participating older adults with low-to-moderate income were more vulnerable to loneliness than higher income older adults, for whom infrequent participation did not increase loneliness. This reinforces the need to encourage formal social activity with subsidy for low-to-moderate income older adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1982-1992
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Applied Gerontology
Volume42
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2023

Keywords

  • formal social activity
  • income level
  • loneliness
  • older adults

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