Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science


Health and Rehabilitation Sciences


Dr. Marie Savundranayagam


Assumptions about the family providing enough social support to visible minority elders can be found in the literature, contradicting reported levels of social isolation and loneliness by visible minority elders. While structural barriers have been recognized to influence feelings of isolation and loneliness, limited information exists about the role of cultural factors such as acculturation and family values. Accordingly, this study investigated the role of acculturation and the ‘family as referents’ dimension of familism, which refers to the belief that family members’ behaviour should meet with familial expectations, on isolation and loneliness among visible minority elders (N = 123). Analyses using hierarchical regression indicated that participants who highly endorse the family as referents dimension were more likely to feel lonely. This study provides support for the importance of considering cultural values when studying predictors of loneliness among visible minority elders. Implications include the importance of addressing familial expectations in programs aimed at alleviating feelings of loneliness among visible minority elders.