This study examined whether the relationship between self-rated poor health and loneliness in late adulthood is moderated by strong and supportive familial ties.
Using cross-sectional data from a sample of 2,000 individuals 60 years of age and older who reside in Arizona and Florida, moderation tests were conducted to determine whether two types of familial ties - spouse and children - diminish the effect of poor health on loneliness. The results indicated that participants who reported poor health were less likely to experience loneliness when they have a strong attachment to their spouse. Similar attachments to children did not condition the relationship, neither did the mere presence of familial ties (alternative measures that did not take into account the quality of such ties). The findings lend support for the argument that it is not familial ties per se that are beneficial, but rather the quality of such ties that matters. (Publisher abstract modified)
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