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Trajectories of loneliness during childhood and adolescence: Predictors and health outcomes

Authors
Journal
Journal of Adolescence
0140-1971
Publisher
Elsevier
Volume
36
Issue
6
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2013.01.005
Keywords
  • Loneliness
  • Latent Growth Mixture Modeling
  • Trajectories
  • Health
  • Temperament
  • Social Acceptance
  • Sociability
  • Self-Worth
  • Attribution
  • Trust Beliefs

Abstract

Abstract The present study employed latent growth mixture modeling to discern distinct trajectories of loneliness using data collected at 2-year intervals from age 7–17 years (N = 586) and examine whether measures taken at age 5 years were good predictors of group membership. Four loneliness trajectory classes were identified: (1) low stable (37% of the sample), (2) moderate decliners (23%), (3) moderate increasers (18%), and (4) relatively high stable (22%). Predictors at age 5 years for the high stable trajectory were low trust beliefs, low trusting, low peer acceptance, parent reported negative reactivity, an internalizing attribution style, low self-worth, and passivity during observed play. The model also included outcome variables. We found that both the high stable and moderate increasing trajectories were associated with depressive symptoms, a higher frequency of visits to the doctor, and lower perceived general health at age 17. We discuss implications of findings for future empirical work.

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