Age, culture, and the antecedents of loneliness

Ami Rokach1, Felix Neto2
1The Institute for the Study and Treatment of Psychosocial Stress, Canada
2Universidad de Porto, Portugal
Cite this article:  Rokach, A., & Neto, F. (2005). Age, culture, and the antecedents of loneliness. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 33(5), 477-494.

Volume 33 Issue 5 | e1411 | Published: August 2005 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2005.33.5.477

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Loneliness is a subjectively experienced pervasive emotion which is influenced by one’s personality and situational variables. In this study we examined the influence of age and culture on the perceived causes of loneliness. A total of 1,347 Canadian and Portuguese participants from all walks of life volunteered to answer an 82-item yes/no questionnaire reflecting on the causes of their loneliness. The questionnaire used in this study is composed of the factors that describe causes of loneliness: Personal inadequacies, developmental deficits, unfulfilling intimate relationships, relocation/significant separations, and social marginality. Gender differences between and within the groups were also examined. Four age groups were compared: youth (13-18 years old), young adults (19-30), adults (31-58), and elderly (60 and older). Within and between culture and age comparisons were also carried out. Results indicated that the causes of loneliness are perceived differently depending on one’s age and culture.

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