Self- and other-oriented potential lifetime traumatic events as predictors of loneliness in the second half of life

Yuval Palgi, Amit Shrira, Menachem Ben-Ezra, Sharon Shiovitz-Ezra, Liat Ayalon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: This study examined the relationship between self- and other-oriented potential lifetime traumatic events (PLTE) and loneliness at the second half of life. Method: The sample was comprised of 7446 respondents who completed the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) 2006 psychosocial questionnaire. PLTE were classified into self-oriented PLTE, defined as traumatic events that primarily inflict the self (e.g., being abused by parents) and other-oriented PLTE, defined as events that affect the self by primarily targeting others (e.g., death of one's child). We evaluated the role of self- and other-oriented PLTE as predictors of loneliness, as evaluated by the short R-UCLA. Analyses were stratified by age at which trauma happened categorized into four life periods (0-17, 18-30, 31-49, 50+). Results: The results showed that PLTE is positively related to loneliness. Moreover, the number of other-oriented PLTE, and even more pronouncedly self-oriented PLTE, that happened up until adulthood were the strongest predictors of loneliness at the second half of life. Conclusion: The study suggests that self- and other-oriented PLTE reported to have occurred early in life are associated with perceived loneliness in the second half of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-430
Number of pages8
JournalAging and Mental Health
Volume16
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 May 2012

Keywords

  • cumulative trauma
  • lifetime trauma
  • loneliness
  • other-oriented events
  • self-oriented events

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Gerontology
  • Psychiatric Mental Health

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