Title: Comparing measures of loneliness in early adolescence: Dyadic loneliness versus group loneliness
Authors: Maes, Marlies ×
Luyckx, Koen
Van Den Noortgate, Wim
Goossens, Luc #
Issue Date: Mar-2015
Conference: 2015 SRCD Biennial edition:2015 SRCD Biennial Meeting location:Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA date:19-21 March 2015
Abstract: Loneliness is the unpleasant feeling that occurs when people perceive their social relations to be deficient in an important way (Perlman & Peplau, 1981). For different age groups, however, different measures of loneliness are used, which makes it difficult to compare results across developmental periods. Some of these measures relate to dyadic loneliness, whereas others relate to group loneliness. The present study aims to examine how six established loneliness questionnaires relate to one another. This comparison will help understand how findings on, for example, childhood loneliness can be compared to the adult literature. In addition, it will be examined whether the two types of loneliness can be distinguished.

In the present study, we focused on early adolescence, because this is the age group most suitable to fill out questionnaires from both the child and adult literature. Belgian adolescents (N = 282, 60% girls) between the ages of 13 to 15 years filled out eight subscales of six established loneliness questionnaires. These included the Peer Network (PNLS) and the Peer Dyadic (PDLS) Loneliness Scale from the Peer Network and Dyadic Loneliness Scale (PDNLS; Hoza, Bukowski & Beery, 2000), the Peer Group Integration (PGI) and the Peer Personal Intimacy (PPI) scales from the Relational Provisions Loneliness Questionnaire (RPLQ; Hayden, 1989), the Children’s Loneliness Scale (CLS; Asher & Wheeler, 1985), and the Peer-Related Loneliness Scale (L-Peers) from the Loneliness and Aloneness Scale for Children and Adolescents (LACA; Marcoen, Goossens, & Caes, 1987), all of which have been used with children and adolescents. In addition, participants filled out the University of California at Los Angeles Loneliness Scale (UCLA; Russell, Peplau, & Curtona, 1980) and the Rasch-Type Loneliness Scale (RTLS; De Jong Gierveld & Kamphuis, 1985), both of which have been used with college students and adults.

Results show good reliability for the loneliness scales in the present sample (all alphas above .80). Table 1 shows the correlations among the different subscales. In addition, a factor analysis with varimax rotation was performed, showing that the two types of loneliness could be distinguished (Table 2). The PDLS and PPI were explicitly developed to tap into dyadic loneliness and the PNLS and PGI were explicitly developed to tap into group loneliness. The CLS and L-Peers seem to tap into group loneliness, whereas the UCLA and RTLS seem to tap mostly into group loneliness, but also into dyadic loneliness.

The present study demonstrates how six established loneliness measures relate to each other, which helps to understand how we can compare the results from studies using different loneliness measures. In addition, factor analysis revealed that group and dyadic loneliness can be distinguished.
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IMa
Appears in Collections:School Psychology and Child and Adolescent Development
Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Campus Kulak Kortrijk – miscellaneous
Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences - miscellaneous
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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