J Korean Geriatr Psychiatry.  2019 Nov;23(2):72-79. 10.0000/jkgp.2019.23.2.72.

The Median Effect of Social Support on the Loneliness of Resilience in the Healthy Elderly Living Alone

  • 1Department of Psychiatry,Yonsei University Wonju Severance Christian Hospital, Wonju, Korea. gooddr@yonsei.ac.kr
  • 2Industry Academic Cooperation Foundation Office of Yonsei University Wonju Campus, Wonju, Korea.


This study aims to identify the impact of social support on the relationship between loneliness and resilience for the elderly who are mentally sound, financially stable and living in a single household setting.
A sample of 197 mentally healthy (Mini-Mental State Examination for Dementia Screening ≥−1.5 standard deviation and Geriatric Depression Scale <10) community-dwelling elderly 65 years of age or older was recruited. Multidimensional individual and interpersonal resilience measure, Medical Outcomes Study Social Support Survey, and University of California, Los Angeles Loneliness Scale were used followed by structured face to face interviews. Descriptive statistics, t-test, analysis of variance, Pearson correlation, and stepwise regression analysis were used for data analysis.
The mean score of Resilience was 70.7 (±11.7)/111, social support was 60.2 (±21.4)/95, and Loneliness was 38.5(±11.9)/80. For the Resilience, there was a statistically significant correlation between loneliness (r=0.56, p<0.01) and social support (r=0.72, p<0.01). Hierarchical analysis shows that social support completely mediates the effect of resilience on loneliness. Stepwise regression analysis represents affection emotional support and positive social interaction have the highest descriptive power.
In conclusion, social support fully mediates the impact of resilience on loneliness. The findings suggest developing social support intervention programs, especially which can give emotional support and positive social interaction, is effective and crucial to decrease loneliness for elderly who are living alone.


Resilience; Loneliness; Social support; Elderly living alone
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