The relationship between living alone and depressive symptoms among older gay men: The moderating role of sense of belonging with gay friends

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Abstract

Background: Living alone is a risk factor for depressive symptoms among older adults, although it is unclear if it is a risk factor for older gay men. A sense of belonging to the gay community is protective and might compensate for living alone. This research investigated whether a sense of belonging with gay friends weakened the relationship between living alone and depressive symptoms among older gay men. Methods: A community sample of 160 Australian gay men aged 65-92 years completed the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale and two visual analogue scales assessing a sense of belonging with gay friends. Results: Results supported the moderation model, with increasing levels of belonging with gay friends weakening the relationship between living alone and depressive symptoms. Conclusion: Results imply that enhancing a sense of belonging with gay friends among older gay men who live alone is likely to be a protective factor in relation to depressive symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1895-1901
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Psychogeriatrics
Volume28
Issue number11
Early online date09 Aug 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Nov 2016

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