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.