Journal of Community Psychology

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Loneliness and social support: Differential predictive power on depression and satisfaction in senior citizens

Abstract The lack of social support and the feelings of loneliness among older adults are associated with physical and mental health negative outcomes. This study attempts to test for their differential predictive power on depression and satisfaction in seniors. Data were drawn from a sample of 335 older adults ranging from 55 to 80 years old, with a mean age of 63.97 years (standard deviation = 5.56) attending a learning program at the University of Valencia during the academic year 2014–2015. In addition to health and wellbeing outcomes, we used the Functional Social Support Questionnaire DUKE‐UNC, and two scales of loneliness, the de Jong Gierveld Loneliness Scale and the University of California Loneliness Scale version 3. Using structural equations models with Mplus, two models were proposed to assess the predictive power of social support and loneliness on wellbeing outcomes, specifically life satisfaction and depression, while controlling for health. Results confirm the negative association between loneliness and satisfaction with life and the positive one with depression.

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