Social support networks and loneliness among elderly Jews in Russia and Ukraine

Esther Iecovich, Miriam Barasch, Julia Mirsky, Roni Kaufman, Amos Avgar, Aliza Kol-Fogelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


The collapse of the Soviet Union had devastating consequences for the lives of its population, especially for older adults, many of whom became impoverished and were left with no social support. Using data from a survey of 2,579 elderly Jews in two of the largest countries of the former Soviet Union, Russia and Ukraine, we examine variables that affect their feeling of loneliness. Unmarried and childless elderly persons reported the highest feelings of loneliness. Married elderly persons who maintained frequent contact with their children felt least lonely. Moreover, married and unmarried elderly persons who did not maintain frequent contact with relatives or friends were lonelier than those who maintained such contact. The characteristics of social networks were significantly correlated with loneliness. The findings also showed that Jews in Ukraine had fewer social networks and felt lonelier compared to Jews in Russia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-317
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 May 2004


  • Elderly Jews
  • Former Soviet Union
  • Loneliness
  • Social networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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