Old-age social exclusion: The role of social relations in loneliness and social isolation
Objective: Social exclusion has intersecting dimensions in old age. This article focuses on one particular dimension: exclusion from social relations. The aim of the study is to examine if reciprocity patterns within family and social networks have impact on loneliness and social isolation among older people. Method and data: This article employs a theoretical framework based on: 1) the intergenerational family solidarity model; and 2) the social convoy model. The analyses build on data from the Panel Survey of Ageing and the Elderly (PSAE) collected in 2002-3 and the total sample in this study consists of older individuals over 55 years living in Sweden, amounting to 5275 respondents (41.6% of gross-sample). The effects of social relations on loneliness and social isolation are analysed by using the ordinal logistic regression model. Results: Closer family reciprocity with children is associated with lower feeling of loneliness and help-giving behaviours mitigate loneliness. Stronger social networks are associated with the lower risk of social isolation. Older migrants have greater risk of feeling lonely and being socially isolated. Unemployment has significant effect on loneliness but not on social isolation.
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