OBJECTIVES: This study examined the emotional distress and loneliness during COVID-19 and the roles of resiliency and activities .
DESIGN: A cross-sectional national survey .
SETTING: Amazon Mechanical Turk (mTurk) and Prolific Research Platforms .
PARTICIPANTS: Five hundred and one U.S. dwelling English-speaking adults 60 years old and older . MEASUREMENTS: Participants completed an online survey with the PHQ-9; GAD-7; Short Health Anxiety Inventory; 3-item UCLA Loneliness scale; PROMIS measures of global health, instrumental, and emotional support; 10-item Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale; and COVID-19 needs assessment .
RESULTS: Across the sample 13% reported moderate depressive symptoms , 9% reported moderate anxiety symptoms, and 26% endorsed being``lonely ."The emotionally distressed group endorsed more loneliness, lower resiliency, less physical exercise, and worse physical health . The low Socio-Economic Status group endorsed less loneliness, less likely to engage in physical exercise and worse physical health.The lonely group endorsed less resilience, less physical exercise, and worse physical health . A multiple logistic regression found that resilience, socioeconomic status, and physical health were significant predictors of loneliness, whereas global health was the best predictor of emotional distress .
CONCLUSIONS: Even after prolonged social distancing, older adults in this study did not report greater psychological distress compared to earlier studies of older adults during COVID-19 . Older adults with lower SES, worse physical health, and less resiliency, were more likely to report more loneliness . It is this group that should be the focus of intervention.