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The elderly who live alone: their mental health and social relationships

Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry

Author: Henderson, A., Scott, R., Kay, D.
Year: 1986
Type: Journal Article


Presents the findings of a community survey of the ederly carried out in Hobart.115 people who lived alone (mean age 81.5 yrs) and 153 who lived with others (mean age 78.2 yrs) were interviewed to examine their social relationships. It was found that those who lived alone were more often widows and had more education, had markedly fewer close relationships but as much other social interaction as those who lived with others. These respondents also reported that their personal networks were as adequate as other elderly persons, but that they experienced more loneliness. There was no higher prevalence of depressive disorders or dementia among Ss who lived alone, but they did have a higher frequency of neurotic depression and some depressive symptoms, namely loneliness. It is suggested that the elderly who live alone may not be so much at risk for formal psychiatric morbidity as for an excess of dysphoric symptoms.

Further Details

Pages 202-209
Volume 20
Issue 2
Accession Number 25.11.03
Research Notes Electronic copy added 02/09/2013
Keywords olderemotionalAustraliacommunity

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