A longitudinal, cross-lagged panel analysis of loneliness and depression among community-based older adults

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Abstract

In the present study, we intended to examine the temporal association between loneliness and depression among community-based older adults. We analyzed data on 3,920 persons with a mean age of 67.6 years at baseline from the Taiwan Longitudinal Study on Aging. Structural equation modeling was used to investigate the temporal association between loneliness and depression over a period of 14 years. The results showed that the temporal association between loneliness and depression was bidirectional but stronger and more robust for depression as the initial symptom. Loneliness at Time 1 and 3, respectively, significantly predicted depression at Time 2 and 4. Depression at each time point had a significant effect on subsequent loneliness, even considering covariates. Future prevention programs for older adults with depression should also target at dealing with their loneliness, and vice versa. This study also highlights the need to assess and to manage the two symptoms simultaneously.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-293
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Elder Abuse and Neglect
Volume31
Issue number4-5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 20 2019

Keywords

  • Mental health
  • structural equation modeling
  • temporal relation
  • the elderly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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