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Thesis (M.S.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1971. Department of Human Development and the Family.


Copyright 1971, the author. Used by permission.


This study was designed to examine the phenomenon of loneliness as it is experienced by individuals over 60 years of age. The research was concerned with loneliness in the elderly as it was found to be related to: 1) Age, 2) Sex, 3) Past occupation, 4) Housing, 5) Confinement, 6) Income range, 7) Family contact, and 8) Selected personal and social factors.

The 390 subjects included in the study were selected at random from areas in the city of Lincoln, Nebraska and eight rural communities within an approximate 50 mile radius of Lincoln. Of the 390 people, the majority of them lived in their own home and were not employed. One hundred thirty one were urban residents and 259 rural. One hundred twenty two were men and 268 were women.

An information questionnaire was constructed to obtain data necessary for testing hypotheses related to the above factors. Data from subjects were obtained from personal interviews.

To accomplish the purpose of this research, a test to measure loneliness was necessary. The instrument used was one developed by the Department of Human Development and the Family at the University of Nebraska to measure loneliness among a general population. An adaptation of this was employed to interview the elderly individuals included in the study.

Advisor: Ruby Gingles