Loneliness, common in old age, may be partially attributed to ageism. The present study explored the short- and medium-term effect of ageism on loneliness experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic using prospective data derived from the Israeli sample of the Survey of Health, Aging and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) (N = 553). Ageism was measured before the COVID-19 outbreak and loneliness in the summer of 2020 and 2021 using a direct single question. We also tested for age differences in this association. In both the 2020 and 2021 models, ageism was related to increased loneliness. This association remained significant after adjusting for a host of demographic, health, and social variables. In the 2020 model, we also found that the positive association between ageism and loneliness was significant only in people aged 70+. We discussed the results with reference to the COVID-19 pandemic, which drew attention to two global social phenomena: loneliness and ageism.
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- quantitative methods