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Dynamic analysis of loneliness and disability at older ages in Europe by gender

Pagan, Ricardo and Malo, Miguel (2021): Dynamic analysis of loneliness and disability at older ages in Europe by gender.

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Abstract

In this article, we analyse loneliness trajectories for older people aged 50 or more in selected European countries by gender. We focus on the relationship between disability and disability trajectories and loneliness trajectories. We use three waves of the longitudinal SHARE database. We find that permanent loneliness is not generalised, but 31 per cent of older males and 44 per cent of females suffer from loneliness in at least one of the three waves. Disability increases loneliness persistence, especially for women. Improvements in disability decrease the risk of loneliness persistence, but this effect is smaller than for disability status and there are no clear differences by gender. The rankings of the country effects on loneliness persistence by gender provide only partial support, with Mediterranean and Eastern European countries having the highest persistence, while the lowest rates are found in Northern countries, as in the previous comparative literature on loneliness.

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