Macro-level risk factors for loneliness among older adults: A scoping review

Cereghetti, Stefano and Pusterla, Elia R.G. and Cavalli, Stefano (2023) Macro-level risk factors for loneliness among older adults: A scoping review. In: British Society of Gerontology 52nd Annual Conference, 07.07.2023, Norwich, Inghilterra. (Unpublished)

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In recent decades, the scientific community has identified a multitude of factors associated with loneliness among older adults. Among these are micro-level determinants like gender, marital status, and self-perceived health; meso-level factors such as neighbourhood characteristics; and macro-level determinants like values, traditions, and welfare state policies. To date, micro-level risk factors have disproportionately been the focus of research at the expense of macro-level determinants. However, macro-level determinants merit greater attention, especially as they may exert an important moderating effect on micro- and meso-level factors. For example, the impact of being single and living alone might be greater in collectivist cultures, where high value is placed on strong social ties, than in individualistic ones, where priority is given to independence and autonomy. Therefore, the failure to account for macro-level determinants may compromise efforts to intervene at other levels by not considering contextual factors, and risks individualising a problem rooted in many levels in society. In this paper, we present the results of a scoping review of existing literature on macro-level risk factors for loneliness among older adults with a view to identify areas of this scholarship in need of further development. Three web-based databases will be used, namely Pubmed, Jstor and Web of Science. The review will be guided by well-documented and tested frameworks for scoping reviews.

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