What Are Friends for? Friendships and Loneliness Over the Lifespan—From 18 to 79 Years

Forfattere: Magnhild Nicolaisen og Kirsten Thorsen

Publisert i The international journal of aging and human development, 84 (2), 2016

Sammendrag på engelsk (abstract)

Background: Preventing and reducing loneliness is crucial to well-being and good health. Social relationships protect people against loneliness. Friendship qualities like intimacy and frequency of contact may vary throughout a person’s lifespan.

Method: This study explores aspects of friendship and loneliness among people in different age groups: 18 to 29, 30 to 49, 50 to 64, and 65 to 79 years old. Data are from the Norwegian Life Course, Gender and Generations study (N = 14,725).

Results: Young people see their friends most often. The proportion of people without confidant friends is higher among older age groups. However, older age groups report higher levels of satisfaction with their contact with friends. Multivariate regression analyses show that the aspiration for contact with friends is more significant to loneliness than actual contact in all age groups. Dissatisfaction with contact with friends is strongly related to loneliness in all age groups