Background: Studies on age differences in emotional states during the COVID-19 pandemic showed that older adults experienced greater emotional wellbeing compared to younger adults. We hypothesized these age differences to be related to the perception of closeness to family/friends or the engagement in daily activities during the pandemic. Aim: To investigate age differences in positive and negative emotional experiences and whether the perception of closeness to family/friends and the engagement in daily activities during pandemic explained such age-related differences. Methods: Through a cross-sectional study, 1,457 adults aged 18–87 years old completed an online survey assessing positive and negative emotional experiences, the perception of more closeness to family/friends, and daily activities that participants started/re-started during the pandemic. Results: Increasing age was associated with more positive and less negative emotional experiences. Age differences in positive emotional experience were explained by the perception of more closeness to friends and not by the engagement in daily activities. For negative emotional experience age, differences remained significant even after accounting for the perception of closeness to family/friends and engagements in daily activities. Discussion: Older adults’ greater overall level of positive emotional experience was explained by their greater perception of more closeness to friends. We speculate that social closeness provides a coping mechanism to increase emotional wellbeing employed especially in older adults. Conclusion: Our findings reinforce the link between perceived social closeness and emotional wellbeing especially in older adults. To cope with stressful situation, it is important to encourage older adults to increase the closeness to their social network.

Closeness to friends explains age differences in positive emotional experience during the lockdown period of COVID-19 pandemic

Cavallini E.
;
Rosi A.;Ceccato I.;Vallarino M.;Ronchi L.;Vecchi T.;Lecce S.
2021-01-01

Abstract

Background: Studies on age differences in emotional states during the COVID-19 pandemic showed that older adults experienced greater emotional wellbeing compared to younger adults. We hypothesized these age differences to be related to the perception of closeness to family/friends or the engagement in daily activities during the pandemic. Aim: To investigate age differences in positive and negative emotional experiences and whether the perception of closeness to family/friends and the engagement in daily activities during pandemic explained such age-related differences. Methods: Through a cross-sectional study, 1,457 adults aged 18–87 years old completed an online survey assessing positive and negative emotional experiences, the perception of more closeness to family/friends, and daily activities that participants started/re-started during the pandemic. Results: Increasing age was associated with more positive and less negative emotional experiences. Age differences in positive emotional experience were explained by the perception of more closeness to friends and not by the engagement in daily activities. For negative emotional experience age, differences remained significant even after accounting for the perception of closeness to family/friends and engagements in daily activities. Discussion: Older adults’ greater overall level of positive emotional experience was explained by their greater perception of more closeness to friends. We speculate that social closeness provides a coping mechanism to increase emotional wellbeing employed especially in older adults. Conclusion: Our findings reinforce the link between perceived social closeness and emotional wellbeing especially in older adults. To cope with stressful situation, it is important to encourage older adults to increase the closeness to their social network.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11571/1452067
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