Aug 18, 2022
The final Essay has to be a minimum of 500 words. It must have an introduction, body, and conclusion.
Adulthood and Late Adulthood: Impact of Loneliness and Social Isolation
Research on the impacts of loneliness and social isolation is well documented across the literature. In particular, a meta-analysis by J et al. (2015) revealed that isolation and loneliness were correlated with an increased risk of early mortality, with the initial health status playing a mitigating role, but the risk of mortality was consistent across age groups and gender. In support of these findings, Valtorta et al. (2016) also concluded that poor social relationship was correlated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease (29%) and stroke 32% without any differences across gender. The after-mentioned finding supports the need for social connections and convoys. Berger (2019) defined social connection as the established relationship with others within a given setting, while convoys relate to people who are part of the life journey. Social connection and convey act as protective factors across all developmental stages and provide one with a pool of support when encountering adversaries.
The self-theory emphasizes the need for self-identity and maintaining personal integrity. In this case, some of the core theories include the Erickson theory, which focuses on the 8th stage characterized by despair and integrity (Berger, 2019). The next theory delves into the continuity theory, where older people tend to behave toward others based on their past experiences. Apart from the choice theory, the stratification theory holds that social forces tend to limit individual choices and the ability to function (Berger, 2019). In this regard, the risk of loneliness increases due to past stratification due to limited choices. Finally, based on existing research, the risk of early mortality is due to the lack of activity and withdrawal, while based on the activity theory, limited physical activities among the elderly further increase the risk of isolation and loneliness (J et al., 2015; Valtorta et al., 2016). Thus, to mitigate the risk of early mortality, some approaches include developing social networks, befriending, and engaging in behavioral therapy.
From a personal point of view, our neighbor, a close friend to my father, died in the mid-50s. Compared to his age mates, our friend had limited contact, spent most of his time indoors, and lacked appropriate social resources. Based on the information accrued from the course, adulthood and the aging process are uniquely different. In part, aging is manifested by psychological and biological decline, while adulthood is a state of continuum development that is characterized by changes in attitude, perception, and values systems. Thus, one important takeaway is the need to have effective social connections and social convoy. Thus, in both my personal and professional life, I will strive to have adequate social resources to enhance the quality of my life.
A substantive comment concerning a different topic relates to religious identity. In part, the level of religious identity also decreases as one moves across the elderly phase, and church attendance decreases which also differs across racial groups. In this regard, the risk of loneliness and the association with loneliness is also an important area for policy intervention and ways in which strategies can be developed to leverage religion as a protective factor. Thus, apart from work-related and the withdrawal aspect relates to job activities, the religious domain is equally an important topic of scholarly interest.
Berger, K. S. (2019). Invitation to the life span. (4th ed.). Worth Publishers.
J, H.-L., Tb, S., M, B., T, H., & D, S. (2015, March 1). Loneliness and social isolation as risk factors for mortality: A meta-analytic review. Perspectives on Psychological Science: A Journal of the Association for Psychological Science. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25910392/
Valtorta, N. K., Kanaan, M., Gilbody, S., Ronzi, S., & Hanratty, B. (2016). Loneliness and social isolation as risk factors for coronary heart disease and stroke: Systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal observational studies. Heart, 102(13), 1009–1016. https://doi.org/10.1136/heartjnl-2015-308790