Linda J. Waite

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Most studies of social relationships in later life focus on the amount of social contact, not on individuals' perceptions of social isolation. However, loneliness is likely to be an important aspect of aging. A major limiting factor in studying loneliness has been the lack of a measure suitable for large-scale social surveys. This article describes a short(More)
The extent to which loneliness is a unique risk factor for depressive symptoms was determined in 2 population-based studies of middle-aged to older adults, and the possible causal influences between loneliness and depressive symptoms were examined longitudinally in the 2nd study. In Study 1, a nationally representative sample of persons aged 54 and older(More)
BACKGROUND Despite the aging of the population, little is known about the sexual behaviors and sexual function of older people. METHODS We report the prevalence of sexual activity, behaviors, and problems in a national probability sample of 3005 U.S. adults (1550 women and 1455 men) 57 to 85 years of age, and we describe the association of these variables(More)
Previous research has identified a wide range of indicators of social isolation that pose health risks, including living alone, having a small social network, infrequent participation in social activities, and feelings of loneliness. However multiple forms of isolation are rarely studied together making it difficult to determine which aspects of isolation(More)
Married couples who began their relationship by cohabiting appear to face an increased risk of marital dissolution, which may be due to self-selection of more dissolution-prone individuals into cohabitation before marriage. This paper uses newly developed econometric methods to explicitly address the endogeneity of cohabitation before marriage in the hazard(More)
OBJECTIVES The National Social Life, Health and Aging Project is the first population-based, nationally representative study to ask older adults about their recent experience of mistreatment. This article provides estimates of mistreatment by family members and examines the association of mistreatment with demographic and health characteristics. METHODS(More)
OBJECTIVES To examine the relationships between socioeconomic status (SES) and health across the life course and their variations by gender and race/ethnicity. METHODS The sample included 19,949 respondents aged 50 or over from the 1998 Health and Retirement Study. RESULTS Lower childhood SES was associated with worse health outcomes in later life. Part(More)
OBJECTIVE The objective of this study was to test a conceptual model of loneliness in which social structural factors are posited to operate through proximal factors to influence perceptions of relationship quality and loneliness. METHODS We used a population-based sample of 225 White, Black, and Hispanic men and women aged 50 through 68 from the Chicago(More)
OBJECTIVES The National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (NSHAP) was designed to examine the relationship between sexual behavior, sexual problems, and health among older women and men. We describe measures of sexual partnerships, sexual practices, sexual problems, attitudes toward sex, and nonsexual intimacy in the first wave of NSHAP. METHODS We(More)