Date of Award

Summer 2017

Document type


Degree Name

MSc by research (Master of Science by research)

First Supervisor

Professor Karen Morgan

Second Supervisor

Professor Anne Hickey


Social Relationships, Depression, BMI, Older Adults


Older adults’ social relationships influence both mental and physical health outcomes, and reciprocal influences between loneliness and depression have been demonstrated over time. Social and mental health are both important considerations for Ireland’s ageing population. Obesity represents another public health concern among the ageing population, and is also associated with depression. ‘Social relationships’ is an umbrella term that encompasses both subjective relationship measures such as loneliness and relationship quality, and objective relationship measures such as participation and social network connectedness. This thesis aims to describe the prevalence of social relationships, depression and BMI in older Irish adults, and to investigate the interactions and reciprocal influences between these variables. Analysis includes comparison of influences of subjective and objective social relationship measures on depression and BMI, and uses multiple measures from wave 1 and wave 2 of the Irish Longitudinal Study of Ageing (TILDA).

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.

File Size

4.23 MB


A thesis submitted for the degree of Master of Science from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in 2016.