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Solitudine ed essere soli: indagine su un gruppo di anziani toscani
Author/s: Paola Cavallero, Francesca Morino Abbele, Maria Gabriella Ferrari, Barbara Bertocci 
Year:  2006 Issue: Language: Italian 
Pages:  19 Pg. 93-111 FullText PDF:  131 KB

Loneliness is a lasting condition of emotional suffering that implies the perception of a lack of social relationships. This often occurs amongst the elderly (Rook, 1984, Miceli, 981, 2003, Peplau & Perlman 1982; Cacioppo et al. 2003). The purpose of the survey was to understand the way in which loneliness is perceived by the elderly in Tuscany and what they thought about being alone. The survey covered both these aspects. It assumed that elderly people who perceive themselves as being alone believe that the condition of loneliness is part of being elderly. It also assumed that there would be differences based on age, sex and surroundings. Differences concerning the age, the kind and the territorial reality have at last been noticed. Method. The study involved 364 self-sufficient, non-institutionalised elderly people living in Tuscany. The average age was 75 (DS=7.26). The tools used were: the Loneliness Scale (UCLA) by Russell D. et al. (1980) to assess subjective feelings of loneliness, and a Questionnaire which revealed what the elderly thought about being alone. Both tools underwent structure and reliability checks. Results. As in the research carried out abroad, the results showed that feelings of loneliness imply dimensions that are linked to social relationships, to being on close terms with others, and to isolation. Introvert attitudes when defining loneliness, the consequences of loneliness and the ability to be alone, were taken into consideration. Conclusions. Elderly in Tuscany to do not appear to be quite as alone as reportsin general indicate. Taking into consideration the various variables taken in consideration (ages, kind and territorial reality) everyone understands it that, independently from the age, the Siena elders perceive themselves as less only with respect to those of Leghorn. For what which concerns the attitude towards the solitude it has at last emerged that most males and the group of the several young people (65-74 years) are more unanimous in affirming that the solitude is due to a closing attitude, that he prevents to relation with the other.

Paola Cavallero, Francesca Morino Abbele, Maria Gabriella Ferrari, Barbara Bertocci, in "RICERCHE DI PSICOLOGIA " 4/2006, pp. 93-111, DOI:


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