Loneliness and poor health within families

Chris Segrin, Tricia J. Burke, Michelle Dunivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study was designed to determine whether loneliness clusters in families and if so, whether loneliness is associated with poor health in family members. Participants in the study were 456 individuals from 169 different family units who completed measures of loneliness, self-reported general health, self-reported physical symptoms, and structural support from family and friends. Results indicated that family membership explained significant variance in loneliness. Loneliness was associated with lower self-reported general health and more self-reported physical symptoms. Loneliness and physical symptoms were significantly associated for parents and grandparents, but not for young adults and their siblings. Finally, available structural support from family and friends were both negatively associated with loneliness and this relationship was uniform among all types of family members.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)597-611
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
Volume29
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2012

Keywords

  • Aging
  • family
  • health
  • loneliness
  • social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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