MA Research Paper


Master of Arts




Dr. Rachel Margolis


Many studies have revealed that older adults experience varying rates of loneliness depending on their living arrangements, yet few have been measured in nursing homes. I assess rates of loneliness among aging adults across different living arrangements, including nursing homes. Analyzing nationally representative longitudinal survey data from the United States, I observe older adults in all living arrangements and whether the transition into nursing homes is linked with increased rates of loneliness. Findings indicate that older adults living in nursing homes are at a 3.0 higher odds of experiencing loneliness compared to those living independently. When controlling for demographic and family variables, older adults were still at a higher odds of experiencing loneliness. However, when taking into account health variables, older adults living in nursing were at a lower risk of experiencing loneliness compared to those living independently. When moving from community living into nursing homes, respondents experienced a 0.512 increase in loneliness. When stratifying by gender, men were at a higher risk of experiencing loneliness, regardless of controls or not. Additionally, men also experienced a higher increase in loneliness when moving into nursing homes compared to their female counterparts.

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