Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 12
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    NZABONA, ABEL NTOZI, JAMES and RUTAREMWA, GIDEON 2016. Loneliness among older persons in Uganda: examining social, economic and demographic risk factors. Ageing and Society, Vol. 36, Issue. 04, p. 860.

    Dahlberg, Lena Andersson, Lars McKee, Kevin J. and Lennartsson, Carin 2015. Predictors of loneliness among older women and men in Sweden: A national longitudinal study. Aging & Mental Health, Vol. 19, Issue. 5, p. 409.

    Dahlberg, Lena and McKee, Kevin J. 2014. Correlates of social and emotional loneliness in older people: evidence from an English community study. Aging & Mental Health, Vol. 18, Issue. 4, p. 504.

    Nicolaisen, Magnhild and Thorsen, Kirsten 2014. Loneliness among men and women – a five-year follow-up study. Aging & Mental Health, Vol. 18, Issue. 2, p. 194.

    Nicolaisen, Magnhild and Thorsen, Kirsten 2014. Who Are Lonely? Loneliness in Different Age Groups (18-81 Years Old), Using Two Measures of Loneliness. The International Journal of Aging and Human Development, Vol. 78, Issue. 3, p. 229.

    Nosowska, Geraldine McKee, Kevin and Dahlberg, Lena 2014. Using Structured Observation and Content Analysis to Explore the Presence of Older People in Public Fora in Developing Countries. Journal of Aging Research, Vol. 2014, p. 1.

    Zebhauser, A. Hofmann-Xu, L. Baumert, J. Häfner, S. Lacruz, M. E. Emeny, R. T. Döring, A. Grill, E. Huber, D. Peters, A. and Ladwig, K. H. 2014. How much does it hurt to be lonely? Mental and physical differences between older men and women in the KORA-Age Study. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, Vol. 29, Issue. 3, p. 245.

    BARRETT, PATRICK HALE, BEATRICE and GAULD, ROBIN 2012. Social inclusion through ageing-in-place with care?. Ageing and Society, Vol. 32, Issue. 03, p. 361.

    Victor, Christina R. and Yang, Keming 2012. The Prevalence of Loneliness Among Adults: A Case Study of the United Kingdom. The Journal of Psychology, Vol. 146, Issue. 1-2, p. 85.

    Aartsen, Marja and Jylhä, Marja 2011. Onset of loneliness in older adults: results of a 28 year prospective study. European Journal of Ageing, Vol. 8, Issue. 1, p. 31.

    Golden, Jeannette Conroy, Ronán M. Bruce, Irene Denihan, Aisling Greene, Elaine Kirby, Michael and Lawlor, Brian A. 2009. Loneliness, social support networks, mood and wellbeing in community-dwelling elderly. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, Vol. 24, Issue. 7, p. 694.

    Steed, Lyndall Boldy, Duncan Grenade, Linda and Iredell, Helena 2007. The demographics of loneliness among older people in Perth, Western Australia. Australasian Journal on Ageing, Vol. 26, Issue. 2, p. 81.


Older People's Experiences of Loneliness in the UK: Does Gender Matter?

  • Christina R. Victor (a1), Sasha J. Scambler (a2), Louise Marston (a3), John Bond (a4) and Ann Bowling (a5)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 23 January 2006

The extent and nature of loneliness in later life does not show a consistent relationship with gender. Our study investigates whether there are differences in the nature and extent of loneliness amongst older men and women in contemporary Britain.

Loneliness was measured using a self-report four-point scale in a nationally representative survey of people aged 65+ living in the community.

Survey response rate was 77 per cent and the sample of 999 approximates to that of the general population. Approximately half of our sample 53 per cent were women. Compared with males in the sample women were significantly more likely to be widowed, live alone and have direct contact with friends and relatives. Preliminary analysis identified statistically significant differences between men and women in and self-reported loneliness (and changes over the previous decade). Ordered logistic regression, indicated that gender was no longer independently associated with loneliness once the confounding influences of marital status, age and living arrangement were excluded.

The overall self-reported prevalence of severe loneliness shows little difference between men and women, challenging the stereotype that loneliness is a specifically female experience.

Corresponding author
Correspondence: Professor of Gerontology and Health Services Research, Head of School of Health and Social Care, University of Reading, Bulmershe Court, Reading RG6 1HY E-mail:
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Social Policy and Society
  • ISSN: 1474-7464
  • EISSN: 1475-3073
  • URL: /core/journals/social-policy-and-society
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *