Eenzaamheid komt en gaat met de tijd: Effecten van veranderingen in het sociale netwerk en in gezondheid van 55-plussers op de mate van hun eenzaamheid [Loneliness comes and goes: Unraveling the impact on loneliness of changes in the network of social relationships and changes in the health of older adults].

ABSTRACT. The purpose of the present study was to examine the implications of changes in the network and changes in health for loneliness in old age. Respondents were 2895 men and women ranging in age from 55 to 89. All were interviewed in 1992 and 1993 in a face-to-face setting. The results of the panel study indicate that changes in the network and in health were associated with 'appropriate' changes in loneliness. For example, those who lost their partner over the course of the year were more lonely at T2, while those whose health improved became less lonely. However, contrary to expectations, when no changes in the network and health were observed, the loneliness score still changed, and always in the direction of a reduction of loneliness. Several substantial and methodological explanations for the latter finding are discussed.