In a nationally representative survey, 36 percent of older adults aged 60-69 and 24 percent aged 70 and over in the survey were found to be lonely on a widely used loneliness index. This is especially alarming when considering the harmful health consequences loneliness has on physical and mental health, including its impacts on cognitive functions. In a well cited review, the authors show that that lonelier individuals exhibit declines in their ability to self-regulate; a heightened awareness of social threats in their environment; a greater attention towards negative social stimuli; and a reappraisal of negative interactions in the service of preserving one’s self esteem.
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