University of Montana Rural Institute
Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Public Health
Social connection is the experience of interacting with and feeling connected to other people. A lack of social connections can lead to social isolation and loneliness. Social isolation is an objective measure based on a limited number of social connections. Loneliness is the perception of being isolated or feeling alone. Both social isolation and loneliness are associated with adverse physical and mental health outcomes. Researchers used data from two national surveys to understand the experiences of social isolation and loneliness among people with disabilities. Findings indicate people with disabilities report higher rates of social isolation and loneliness than people without disabilities, and rural people with disabilities report significantly fewer social connections but similar rates of loneliness compared to urban people with disabilities. Addressing structural and environmental barriers is one strategy for lowering the disparate and concerning rates of social isolation and loneliness for people with disabilities.
health and wellness, rural, disability
© 2021 RTC:Rural
National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR)
The contents of this publication were developed under two grants from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR grant numbers 90RTCP0002 and 90DP0075). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, or HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.
90RTCP0002 and 90DP0075
Ipsen, C. & Gimm, G. (November, 2021). Research Report: Social Isolation and Loneliness Among Rural and Urban People with Disabilities. Missoula, MT: The University of Montana Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities. Retrieved from: https://scholarworks.umt.edu/ruralinst_health_wellness