Network and solitude satisfaction as modifiers of disadvantages in the quality of life of older persons who are challenged by exclusion from social relations: a gender stratified analysis
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionApplied Research in Quality of Life. 2022, . https://doi.org/10.1007/s11482-022-10045-z
This study examined from a gender-sensitive perspective the associations of exclusion from social relations (ESR) with the quality of life (QoL) of excluded older persons. Being satisfied with existing relations (i.e., network satisfaction) may be particularly important for the QoL of older persons with small networks, whereas the QoL of “network-less” older persons may be associated with their perception of solitude (i.e., solitude satisfaction). This study examined the moderating role of network satisfaction (NS) in the gendered associations between network size and QoL, as well as the gendered associations of solitude satisfaction (SS) with the QoL of older “network-less” persons. In addition, the comparative disadvantages in the QoL of “network-less” older persons with low-to-high SS, compared to the QoL of socially embedded persons with low-to-high NS were examined. Cross-sectional gender stratified secondary analyses of data from participants (N=72.433) in the Survey on Health, Aging and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) did not provide convincing evidence that a higher NS is particularly important for the QoL of older persons with smaller networks. Among older “network-less” persons, lower SS was associated with lower QoL, comparatively more so among older women. Older persons embedded in a social network with low NS, as well as older “networkless” persons with low SS, have comparatively the lowest levels of QoL. It was concluded that the subjective evaluation of social relations and the subjective evaluation of solitude are associated with gendered disadvantages in the QoL of older persons challenged by ESR.