Objectives: The transition to retirement implies significant changes in daily routine and in the social environment. More specifically, it requires more self-directed efforts in order to stay socially engaged. Hence, for those who suffer from loneliness, the transition to retirement could result in increased depressive symptoms due to the lack of structured daily routine. Methods: We used two waves of the Health and Retirement Study, and tested whether the transition to retirement between the two waves moderates the effects of loneliness on depressive symptoms. Results: The transition to retirement moderated the effect of loneliness in wave 1 on depressive symptoms in wave 2, such that for those who retired, the effect was stronger in comparison to those who stayed employed. Conclusions: Although many manage to easily transition into retirement, lonely older workers are at increased risk for maladjustment and the experience of depressive symptoms following retirement. This group could perhaps benefit from interventions aimed at increasing daily social interactions and establishing a socially satisfying routine.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies Brandeis-Israel Collaborative Research Program. The HRS (Health and Retirement Study) is sponsored by the National Institute on Aging [grant number NIA U01AG009740] and is conducted by the University of Michigan.
© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
- depressive symptoms
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatric Mental Health
- Geriatrics and Gerontology
- Psychiatry and Mental health