436 Predictions of Loneliness

Research by Barreto, Manuela; Victor, Christina; Hammond, Claudia; Eccles, Alice; Richins, Matt; & Qualter, Pamela (2020)

Written by Robin N. Fatovic B.S.

Which people are lonely? Do you have any assumptions about what age, cultural background, or gender they might be? United Kingdom psychology researchers surveyed personality characteristics and loneliness in 46,000participants of different ages across 237 areas of the world. Results? The researchers identified that loneliness decreased with age, and younger people seemed to be lonelier. They found that men experienced more loneliness than women. People in cultures that focus more on self-reliance and individual growth felt lonelier than people who lived in cultures that focus more on community and family interdependence. These findings were slightly significant, yet consistent across different areas of the world. Therefore, these results are universal on some level across cultures. Significantly, young men who live in individualistic cultures like the US are more vulnerable to experiencing both short and long-term loneliness. Although younger generations are known for being more open about their struggles, young men in the US might need more avenues for support. Everyone can be lonely. To combat loneliness, reach out to others, volunteer your services, join social, community service, library, political, or college organizations and help non-profits. You can be self-sufficient and still reach out for help!

Reference: Barreto, M., Victor, C., Hammond, C., Eccles, A., Richins, M. T., & Qualter, P. (2020). Loneliness around the world: Age, gender, and cultural differences in loneliness.Personality and individual differences,110066. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2020.110066

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