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Article

Loneliness during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Comparison between Older and Younger People

School of Economics, Hiroshima University, 1-2-1 Kagamiyama Higashihiroshima, Hiroshima 739-8525, Japan
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Academic Editors: Matthew C. Lohman and Karen Fortuna
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(15), 7871; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18157871
Received: 20 June 2021 / Revised: 16 July 2021 / Accepted: 21 July 2021 / Published: 25 July 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemiology and Mental Health among Older Adults)
The precautionary measures and uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic have serious psychological impacts on peoples’ mental health. We used longitudinal data from Hiroshima University to investigate loneliness before and during the pandemic among older and younger people in Japan. We provide evidence that loneliness among both older and younger people increased considerably during the pandemic. Although loneliness among younger people is more pervasive, the magnitude of increase in loneliness during the pandemic is higher among older people. Our logit regression analysis shows that age, subjective health status, and feelings of depression are strongly associated with loneliness before and during the pandemic. Moreover, household income and financial satisfaction are associated with loneliness among older people during the pandemic while gender, marital status, living condition, and depression are associated with loneliness among younger people during the pandemic. The evidence of increasing loneliness during the pandemic is concerning for a traditionally well-connected and culturally collectivist society such as Japan. As loneliness has a proven connection with both physical and mental health, we suggest immediate policy interventions to provide mental health support for lonely people so they feel more cared for, secure, and socially connected. View Full-Text
Keywords: loneliness; COVID-19 pandemic; social isolation; older and younger people; socio-demographic and psychological factors; comparative analysis; logit regression; Japan loneliness; COVID-19 pandemic; social isolation; older and younger people; socio-demographic and psychological factors; comparative analysis; logit regression; Japan
MDPI and ACS Style

Khan, M.S.R.; Kadoya, Y. Loneliness during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Comparison between Older and Younger People. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 7871. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18157871

AMA Style

Khan MSR, Kadoya Y. Loneliness during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Comparison between Older and Younger People. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(15):7871. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18157871

Chicago/Turabian Style

Khan, Mostafa Saidur Rahim, and Yoshihiko Kadoya. 2021. "Loneliness during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Comparison between Older and Younger People" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 15: 7871. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18157871

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