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An exploration of help seeking, experiences, and views of loneliness in an older adult population

Walker, Katie (2020) An exploration of help seeking, experiences, and views of loneliness in an older adult population. Doctoral thesis, Staffordshire University.

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Abstract or description

Loneliness is a subjective experience that can leave an individual feeling distressed. Loneliness can precipitate many other health concerns and has been linked to physical health decline. The following chapters aim to provide further understanding of loneliness amongst an older adult population.
Chapter one details a literature review of fourteen papers to ascertain what helps and hinders people retired from employment to seek help for feelings of loneliness. The reviewed literature found that transitioning into retirement is a critical time period for many people. Personal characteristics, social initiatives and technology are all important in abating loneliness and social isolation. Strengths and limitations of the literature are discussed. The review has highlighted a need for more research into loneliness to understand what it means for individuals and what support could be in place to alleviate it.
Chapter two presents empirical research, which was prompted by observations of the gaps in the current literature. A qualitative study was designed using semi-structured interviews informed by discussion of a written hypothetical vignette. This study aimed to explore older adults’ experiences, views and understanding of loneliness. It also aimed to consider what counteracts loneliness and consider possible barriers to accessing support for loneliness. Eight older adults living on their own who had not sought support for loneliness were interviewed. Transcripts were analysed using thematic analysis and five themes were identified from the data: Perspectives on loneliness; Vulnerability; Coping; Confidence; and Connecting. Clinical implications and future research are discussed.
Chapter three provides an executive summary of the empirical research. It has been written with the participants in mind to ensure clear and concise readability. It offers recommendations and suggestions for preventing loneliness.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty: School of Life Sciences and Education > Psychology
Depositing User: Library STORE team
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2020 15:36
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2020 15:36

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