Loneliness and hostility in older adults: A cross-lagged model

Psychol Aging. 2020 Mar;35(2):169-176. doi: 10.1037/pag0000417. Epub 2019 Nov 14.


Loneliness takes a meaningful toll on individuals' physical and mental well-being. One of its possible consequences is the perception that others are not to be trusted and are a source of wrongdoing, defined as cynical hostility. At the same time, cynical hostility could also deter individuals from seeking the comfort of close social relationships. We use the Health and Retirement Study to test a cross-lagged model of hostility and loneliness in a sample of 7500 older adults. The results suggest that there are bidirectional associations between hostility and loneliness. The findings are discussed in light of existing theories on human development, and practical implications are suggested. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging
  • Female
  • Hostility*
  • Humans
  • Loneliness / psychology*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Research Design