Financial Stress and Loneliness in Older Adults

TitleFinancial Stress and Loneliness in Older Adults
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsDrost, M
Academic DepartmentHuman Development & Family Science
DegreeMaster of Science
UniversityOhio Stat University
CityColumbus, OH
KeywordsFinances, Mental Health

The population of older adults is growing in developed nations worldwide. This
demographic trend, attributed to falling fertility and mortality rates, has shifted the focus
of researchers toward this population, with the goal of improving health and well-being
outcomes. This study focuses on the economic and mental health well-being of older
adults in the United States. Previous research indicates that low income status is
associated with feelings of isolation and loneliness in older adults. This study builds on
that prior research by examining how subjective and objective financial changes are
associated with general loneliness in the population of older adults in the U.S.
Subjectively, financial stress is represented by a measure of subjective financial strain,
while it is measured objectively using changes in income and assets. Data from the
Health and Retirement Study (HRS), a sample of U.S. older adults, will be used to
examine the relationship between financial changes and loneliness, and to determine if
the relationship is mediated by mental health, social participation, or personality. First-differencing analysis is used to determine if household financial changes are related tochanges in general loneliness. Preliminary analysis indicates that there is a relationship
between the subjective measure of subjective financial strain and general loneliness,
independent of mental health, social participation, and personality mediators.

Citation Key11115