All humans desire strong social relationships. Social isolation represents a lack of such relationships and can be characterized as an objective measure of an individual’s social connections. Individuals who are isolated typically have limited or no contact with family and friends and also report low levels of participation in social and civic activities. Social isolation can be measured in many ways, ranging from simple measures of living arrangements or marital status to more complex measures that consider individuals’ relationships with others, religious attendance, volunteering, and other dimensions of social participation. Social isolation can be contrasted with loneliness or perceived social isolation, which refers to a dissatisfaction with one’s social relationships. Loneliness can be seen as a subjective assessment of social relationships. Having strong social ...

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