Published In

Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology

Document Type


Publication Date



Psychology, Meta - Analysis


Introduction: Subjective feelings of loneliness and objective social isolation have been consistently connected with ill-health and mortality, though little work has empirically examined the mechanisms explaining the adverse effects. This study examines whether alcohol consumption explains the connection of loneliness and social isolation on mortality in different age and gender groups.

Methods: The sample comprised a representative 1994 Finnish sample (n = 8,650) matched with 22-year follow-up mortality data. A multigroup path analysis with discrete survival time analyses was conducted.

Results: There were unique differences in the associations between loneliness, social isolation, alcohol consumption, and mortality based on age and gender groups. Loneliness and particularly social isolation predicted mortality partly through subjective intoxication for women under 40 and men 40–65. Discussion: Loneliness and social isolation are associated with mortality, partly through subjective intoxication. Interventions targeted at reducing loneliness and social isolation may help address underlying causes of excess alcohol consumption and mortality.


© 2021 Guilford Publications Inc.


This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology.



Persistent Identifier

Included in

Psychology Commons